HIGH HOPES: Coach Mike Smith is planning hugs all round if the Lions win today’s FFA Cup match.
HIGH HOPES: Coach Mike Smith is planning hugs all round if the Lions win today’s FFA Cup match. Leigh Jensen

Lions tackle next step in FFA Cup campaign

ONE OF Australian football's biggest weekends will have a spin-off through North Coast Football Zone.

With the A-League grand final between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC being played at AAMI Park tomorrow, local administrators have shuffled commitments to allow fans to watch coverage.

Today at 2pm, Coffs United take their next step in the Westfield FFA Cup campaign by meeting Alstonville FC at Maclean St.

To cater for the Lions' punishing schedule, the men's premier league clash with Boambee has been held over until a later date.

Lions coach Mike Smith will appreciate having just one game to concentrate on after a jumbled schedule in recent weeks.

He and his advisers have made inquiries about today's opponent from Far North Coast and while there's always an element of the unexpected, Smith believes he's got enough information to plan a strategy.

"I think they are only a handful of games into their season so they could be a bit behind in preparation," he predicted.

"From bits of information we've received they tend to play fast down the outside, so we'll be ready to counter that.

"In games like this, you have to go in confident and believe you have what it takes to go to the next level.

"I expect a very tough match but believe we have what it takes to win."

In a midweek catch-up, Urunga downed Northern Storm 4-1.

Originally Coffs and Boambee were to meet tomorrow night but the A-League decider has ended that idea.

Local football legend Gary Phillips will share his expert views through the Foxtel commentary team but has given Coffs Coast Advocate readers advance warning of a likely Sydney FC title.

"Sydney, who I believe are bigger and stronger physically, will use this advantage to intimidate their opposition, with particular reference to Melbourne's marquees," he said.

"Coach Graham Arnold has proven his astute tactical ability with Sydney but that's irrelevant if you don't overpower your opponent individually and collectively.

"A game no one should miss."

NORTH COAST FOOTBALL PREMIER LEAGUE
Women's Premier League
Today
3pm: Maclean v Coffs United at Barry Watts Oval
3pm: Urunga v Woolgoolga at The Cabbage Patch
3pm: Northern Storm v Boambee at York Street
Grafton United bye

Men's Premier League
Today
3pm: Woolgoolga v Coffs Coast Tigers at Clive Joass Memorial Fields
3pm: Northern Storm v Orara Valley at Korora
3pm: Grafton United v Maclean at Rushforth Park
5pm: Westlawn v Urunga at Barnier Park
Bye: Sawtell
Held over: Coffs United v Boambee



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