STAYING TIGHT: Coutts Crossing defender Jamie Rowles shepherds a Bellingen man wide at Wajad Park during a 4-1 loss to the minor premiers earlier in the season.
STAYING TIGHT: Coutts Crossing defender Jamie Rowles shepherds a Bellingen man wide at Wajad Park during a 4-1 loss to the minor premiers earlier in the season. Mitchell Keenan

Cougars quietly confident for title fight against Bellingen

DIVISION 1 GRAND FINAL: Coutts Crossing Cougars will take to the BCU International Stadium in Coffs Harbour on Saturday for the division 1 grand final against minor premiers Bellingen FC with a huge task ahead of them.

Bellingen have been the team to beat in the competition this year after going 16 rounds undefeated with 12 wins and four draws to their name.

Coutts Crossing claimed one of those draws against the top side but in their other meetings this year the Cougars have struggled, conceding 17 goals and scoring just one against Bellingen.

From early on in the year, Cougars coach Mitch Henwood knew that Bellingen were the benchmark and that they would be there come finals time.

"They're a really good side that play a really attractive brand of football,” Henwood said.

But key striker James Crighton said his side would thrive as the underdogs in this contest.

"We're very confident actually, we've been going pretty well towards the end half of the season,” Crighton said.

"We've got some good wins to boost our confidence.

"We've played a few grand finals and we've caught a few teams out, we were always the underdogs.

"Bellingen are definitely a formidable side, we did lose last time but we were undermanned and missing some key players. I think that win should give them some confidence but we'll come out of nowhere.”

Coutts Crossing have had a strong first year in the division 1 competition and Crighton believes it's due to leadership in the group and the ability to lift.

"We were a confident side coming from second grade last year, we had to step up and perform but we've all done our part,” he said.

"I want to thank Mitchell Rowles, he'll be our stand-in captain this weekend, he's gone above and beyond in the short time he's been with us and coach 'Snapper' (Henwood) has been our rock and our north facing star guiding us in the right direction.”

Coutts Crossing play Bellingen FC in the division 1 grand final at BCU International Stadium, 12.05pm Saturday.



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