Coffs United won’t be playing under the watchful eye of coach Danny Milliken in tomorrow night’s North Coast Football grand final.
Coffs United won’t be playing under the watchful eye of coach Danny Milliken in tomorrow night’s North Coast Football grand final. Bruce Thomas

Big play for Lions

COFFS United Football Club has rallied together in support of men's first division coach Danny Milliken who will miss tomorrow night's grand final clash against Urunga.

The coach's mother passed away in the United Kingdom last weekend and the family has returned home for the funeral.

Lions president Glenn Pearson said the news had rocked the club but had made everybody more determined to succeed.

"Our thoughts go with Danny and his family at this time and no doubt it will be a motivating factor to bring out an extra special effort from the players," he said.

"Fortunately we have a strong combination of old heads and senior players who will share the duties of speaking before the game and during the half-time break.

"Particularly among our over-35 group, we have the likes of Brett Adams, Mike Smith and other experienced people who have been to this level many times and know what's required to give the team the best preparation."

With one sleep to go before the big match, Pearson said last-minute fine-tuning was progressing in a seamless fashion.

"Traditionally, we make few changes to the usual routine, and tonight will be a normal Friday night like any other before the team plays," he said.

"On grand final day it's part of the culture to bring everybody together for breakfast but, I have to say, it'll be different to my playing days when we piled into the sausages, bacon and eggs.

"We'll give them some nice, healthy food so that all the players feel good within themselves and make sure the last few hours before the kick-off are as restful and stress-free as possible."

Pearson happily admits the Lions' all-conquering repu- tation will be a key motivating factor.

"When I check out the crowd, I know anybody not wearing red and black

colours is likely to be hoping for somebody other than us to win, so it won't be a new experience," he agreed.

"But I'm looking forward to playing Urunga and want this to be a hard-fought match that will be worth watching.

"All along I've believed these to be the two top teams across the season and the best on the night will win."



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