The 2021 RMB Lawyers Community League season kicks off tomorrow with 23 All Age clubs, 38 Masters (Over 35’s) teams, and 10 Over 45’s teams all vying for silverware.
Plenty of eyes will be on All Age First Grade with both Gerringong and Dandaloo intent on securing the league title, with hopes of promotion to the PeopleCare District League competition in 2022.
Hill Top and Hogs FC have replaced South Coast United (folded) and Vale Banter Pups (relegated)
Here’s a team by team guide of All Age Division 1 in order of last season’s final standings.
2020 Finish – 1st, Grand Final Winners
The Breakers have been a force to be reckoned with since joining the Community League competition in 2019.
Gerringong performed strongly in the Fraternity Club Cup securing two wins over District League opposition.
With a few new faces to freshen up the squad, coach Andy Lockard is excited about the club’s immediate and long term future.
“We aim to win it (the league), although we are under no illusions on how tough it will be,” Lockard said.
“Since joining FSC, we’ve been impressed by the willingness of clubs to work together to grow and improve the leagues.”
“I think the quality in the squads across the competition this season is a reflection of that.”
The Breakers are also defending club champions. A trophy they hope will stay at Gerry Emery Oval.
Port Kembla Pumas
2020 Finish – 2nd, Grand Finalists
This is a special season for the Port Kembla Pumas as they celebrate their 25th anniversary.
The Pumas are a powerhouse of the Community League competition and will again fancy themselves as genuine title contenders.
Port has maintained the core of their squad from last season and has recruited Christian Cappetta and Josh De Gouveia.
The Pumas hope the duo will allay the losses of Josh Sebben, Andrew Suarez (both to District League clubs) and Ben Zucco’s return to the Illawarra Premier League.
Pumas President Anthony Timillero believes this season will be one of the most competitive in Community League history.
“All of the teams look to have recruited well and we should see the competition for the finals be on right from the start,” said Timillero.
“Our goal is to be as competitive as possible and to stay true to the values and playing philosophy of the club.”
The Pumas will also be looking to retain the Peter Webster Cup and have progressed to the semi-finals of the competition.
2020 Finish – 3rd, Semifinalists
It’s also a milestone season for Dandaloo FC who are also celebrating their 25th anniversary.
The Lions have recruited well across both grades as they look to secure the club championship in 2021 after a three-way tie last season.
Dandaloo have signed Danny Oliveira from United Wolves as well as Michael Mugica, Attaya Chunlamountry and Michael Todd.
Dandy captain Matthew Griffiths is expecting the standard of football to rise again this season.
“Football plays a major role within the Dandaloo community,” Griffiths said.
“We are hoping to increase our supporter base by making game days attractive to not just football fans, but families and friends as well.”
Dandaloo also picked up a win in the Fraternity Club Cup, defeating Picton Rangers on penalties. The Lions have also advanced to the semi-finals of the Peter Webster Cup.
Albion Park City Football Club
2020 Finish – 4th, Semifinalists
Albion Park City Football Club stormed home last season to secure a finals berth in just their second campaign in the top flight of Community League.
City were unfortunate not to progress to the knockout stage of the Fraternity Club Cup after recording wins in normal time against Warilla Wanderers and Balgownie Rangers.
APCFC has welcomed back all-time leading goalscorer Scott Sharman after he spent 2020 on the sidelines.
Luke Boersma, Melih Yilmaz, Kyle Triffitt, Daniel Marinovic and David Bescos are also key signings for City.
2020 Finish – 5th
Uni Spurs performed strongly in 2020 and narrowly missed out on a finals berth.
The Spurs progressed to the quarter-finals of the Peter Webster Cup before losing to the Port Kembla Pumas.
United Wolves AFC Maroon
2020 Finish – 7th
The Wolves return with a new look squad after the majority of last year’s players either left the club or stepped up into the club’s new Masters team.
The boys in Maroon showed they’ll be a tough side to beat this season, pushing Dandaloo all the way, before losing 4-3 in the Peter Webster Cup quarter-finals.
2020 Finish – 8th
Coledale are known for their fighting spirit and the Waves will be looking to show that again in 2021.
The trip up north to St James Park is one of the toughest in the competition and Coledale coach Tim Canosa is hoping it can become a fortress, as the club looks to push for a finals spot.
“We are keen to keep progressing as a club and enjoying our football,” Canosa said.
Matt Sadler was a key signing for the Waves in the off-season and supporters are looking forward to seeing him in the famous pink jersey.
Oak Flats Kraken
2020 Finish – 9th
Oak Flats wasn’t able to defend their crown in 2020 but the club enjoyed an impressive run to the grand final in Reserve Grade.
Club President Ryan Bradbury says the Kraken have recruited well during the off season as they look to once again challenge the competition’s elite.
“The goal is to build team harmony and push for finals football,” Bradbury said.
2020 Finish – AA2 Club Champions
The boys from the Burgh are back in the Community League top flight after two successful seasons in Division 2.
The Hogs have been promoted after finishing as Club Champions in Division 2 last year.
They’ve already shown they’ll be more than competitive this season after wins over Albion Park City and Coledale in the Peter Webster Cup.
Hill Top FC
2020 Finish – N/A
Hill Top join the RMB Lawyers Community League competition from the Highlands Association.
Little is known about the Kookaburras, but a run to the semi-finals of the Peter Webster Cup has put teams on notice ahead of Round 1.
Hill Top President Chris Massay says the club is grateful for the opportunity to join the Community League competition.
“The squad will be led by life member Michael Murray and we are looking to show that Hill Top isn’t just here to make up the numbers,” Massey said
Massey has identified Flynn Hessenberger and Luke Dinham as Hill Top’s key signings for 2021.
“He’s a talented Hill Top junior who scored the match winning goal in the first grand final in 2018,” Massey said of Hessenberger
Dinham has joined Hill Top from Highlands rivals the Bushrangers.