Clarence Valley teams eye promotion to Premier League
TWO CLARENCE Valley football teams begin playoffs today with a chance at promotion to North Coast Football's Premier League on the line.
Grafton City and Yamba Breakers finished first and second in the 2nd Division North competition and play off against their southern counterparts over the next two weeks.
Yamba Breakers have the toughest challenge, taking on a hot Nambucca Heads team who have gone through the season undefeated.
City travel to Sawtell to take on the Scorpions, with coach Tony Blanch putting emphasis on attack.
"We are without a few players but we need to make sure we come away with a few goals," Blanch said. "It works like the European competitions where away goals count as two. We need to get as much of an advantage as we can before they come up here."
City will take on the Sawtell challenge without several key players, with sweeper Michael Fletcher, striker James Connor and utility Travis Ware all missing for the clash. Blanch said they were big losses for the team but they should have the players to win.
"We still have the nucleus of the team so we should go well," Blanch said. "We might have to depend on the third division guys to help get us through."
Damian Hanson is shaping as one of the key men for City, regularly playing both grades to help bolster the defence.
"He's got a big heart. A real club man," Blanch said.
"He only just came back this year but has been one of the must-watch players."