Breakers find themselves the local derby favourites
WHEN he took up the coaching reins with Coffs Breakers, never in his wildest dreams did Nic Von Schill imagine his side heading in as favourites in an early-season meeting with Sawtell-Toormina.
That's the unusual role reversal that will play out today at Fitzroy Oval, with Von Schill predicting the rise of his club is only just beginning.
"Any talk of us being the number one candidate at this stage is premature as we're still only an improving team," he said.
"It will be much clearer when we look at the table at the end of June, but I have to say it's good for the supporters to finally have a good win to cheer."
Last year's amalgamation of the Swans and Kangaroos took time to settle in, with plenty of supporters pining for their old identities.
However, it appears that a year as a single unit has united almost all of those same fans and a new shape is beginning to emerge.
One thing this player- coach is not worried about is the line-up of candidates for a berth in the senior side.
"We have a lot of guys being moulded into new positions and new roles within the team," he said.
"For example, you can't have 10 players in the forward line so there's been a process to adapt a few to move to other parts of the field, and the response has been huge.
"They're finding it a lot of fun and there are a few laughs at training as they get used to each other."
Von Schill readily agrees the return of 2015 coach Jay Guthrie to the playing ranks is exciting and he was hugely encouraged when the former team boss landed eight majors against Grafton.
"Jay's accuracy up at Ellem Oval was amazing and he has one of the smartest footy brains I've come across," he said.
"His confidence is right up there now.
"Back that up with the way Fraser Duryea and Pat Curtain are going and it's shaping up nicely."
Meanwhile, Grafton's Georgia Breward has created history by being the first female from the NSW north coast to be selected in AFL NSW/ACT's Under-18 Youth Girls team to compete in Melbourne next week.
AFL North Coast is working to make it easy for girls keen to give it a try and the next local game will be held at South Kempsey Oval on Sunday, May 8, at 2.30pm.
Any girls requiring transport should phone Matt Crawley on 0431877173.
Girls are also included as part of the representative program and teams are being prepared for the Northern NSW Challenge to be staged on the central coast on July 78.
Players have the chance to put their name forward for selection in the under-13, 15 and 17 years age groups.
Trials will be held this Monday and again on May 16 at Richardson Park from 4.30pm.