Bobcats in tough start to season

THE Maclean Bobcats begin their 2011 North Coast Football campaign this weekend with a tricky road trip south to face the Orara Valley Dingos.

This year’s competition has seen the opening two rounds washed out, but the Bobcats have trained hard through the torrid weather with premiership-winning coach Steve O’Sullivan again at the helm.

The Bobcats are near full-strength; however defensive lynch-pin Gary Carmichael is a noted absentee in the centre of defence and O’Sullivan will perhaps shuffle his back four in order to deal with the mobile Orara midfield.

The influence of Bobcats captain Kevin Crofton and the return of sorely missed livewire Aaron Bylos to the centre of the park will be pivotal for Maclean if it wishes to utilise its prowess out wide, such as 2010 player-of-the-year nominee Jarred Doyle.

Maclean has notably lost the services of decorated striker Fraser Robinson in the off-season, however it is believed the Bobcats have imported an unknown new striker with assured finishing to slot in at the head of the Maclean attack.

Established striker Travis Armstrong has been tragically ruled out for the entire season with a severe knee injury, so exactly who will play at the top of Maclean’s formation remains a mystery.

The new-look Bobcats will be a largely unknown quantity. Sporting a number of new faces and playing a completely different formation to previous years, the Maclean side travels to Orara knowing its hosts will have recruited well in the off-season making them a tough opening prospect.

Kick-off for youth grade is at 1pm with 1st division commencing at 3pm at the Dairyville sports grounds, Orara.

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