Yamba ready for big season

THE boss of the Yamba Breakers says his club is proving you don’t need to be among the top-flight big boys to be a success.

Yamba president Craig McDonagh watched the club’s senior side slip through the North Coast Football relegation trapdoor last year, just months after making the jump to First Division.

His young squad lacked the experience to compete with the likes of Maclean and Coffs United.

But on the eve of the 2011 season, McDonagh said things could not be shaping up any better for the Breakers.

“We have got an increase in the juniors and we will be fielding three senior teams,” said McDonagh, whose club now has an estimated 200 youngsters on the books.

“We have got a couple of juniors coming through and a few new players have come to town.

“We had a pretty successful year off the pitch in the senior side and that’s help attract players.”

Dave Sheridan has moved into a junior development role with Mick Brooker to take the reins of the senior line-up in his place.

And with many of the squad maintaining their fitness in summer soccer leagues, McDonagh tipped a return to the glory of 2009 might be on the cards.

The winner of this year’s Second Division will meet last place in the First Division in a playoff match to decide who plays in the top-flight competition.

Not that Yamba have given much thought to returning to the local elite.

“I think the expectation is there that you take it (a First Division spot) but we would be happy to rebuild,” McDonagh said.

“I think we would probably prefer to go as we are.

“They should have a good year.

"We have hung on to most of the young kids who played in that side last year.

“The good thing is a lot of them seem to be learning the game and just enjoy playing.”

Yamba’s season swings into gear with a Gala Day on March 19 against neighbours Maclean.

Teams from Iluka and Lawrence may also compete.

A week later the Breakers take on Stanthorpe, who McDonagh hoped to forge links with in coming seasons.

Contact Craig McDonagh on 0428 468 007.

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