New kids on the block

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

WHEN Orara Valley makes their North Coast Football 1st Division debut on April 6, there will be a sense of deja vu for the club's long time supporters.

It was 20 years ago that the Dingoes played their first match in the club's history and by pure coincidence, that initial match was also against Woolgoolga.

This time though Orara Valley are up among the big boys.

Having gained promotion after finishing minor premiers last year then winning the 2nd Division final 3-2 over Grafton City, Orara Valley are looking to 2008 as a year when they consolidate their position within the top flight of the local football competition.

"We're super excited about it," club stalwart Joel Finlayson said.

"I've been getting a bit nervous just thinking about it.

"If we can stay up for a year then we might be able to get back some of our old juniors that we used to lose because we didn't have a first grade team.

"If we can stay in another year a few of them might come back and it will give our juniors somewhere to play rather than have to think about going to another club to play in the top division."

First things first though at the picturesque Upper Orara ground and that's proving that they can mix it with the big boys.

To help the club through the season, coach Ian Archibald will be looking towards the talent that will be coming through the highly productive junior ranks that have produced many fine players over the years.

"There's some good players from the under 17s who we will be looking to and they're super fit at the moment," the coach said.

"Training has been good so far, we're mainly just trying to get fit at the moment.

"The numbers have been alright, we've got enough but it's a long season so numbers might be a bit skinny if there are injuries but I think we'll go alright.

Wednesday evenings so far spent down at the Jetty Foreshores running along the beach have been encouraging and have the Dingoes quietly confident that they will be able to more than hold their own when it's time for the football push to come to shove.



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