Mixed start to football champs

ONE win and one loss is the outcome for Northern NSW Country on day one of the Westfield FFA National Youth Championships.

Making a debut at BCU International Stadium as a stand-alone entity, the NNSW Country under-13 boys ran into an ambush prepared by Football Tasmania in their opening game and went down 2-0.

However, the under-14s (also playing Tasmania) had better luck after a tentative start, eventually winning a close match 3-2.

Coffs Harbour official Jim Graham said the butterflies were apparent before the boys went into battle.

"Everybody realises this will take time and both sides struggled to get going," he said.

"Just the same, the 14s did really well to come back into the game and all the boys are going to be better for the experience.

"Watch them to show improvement by the end of the tournament."

Despite heavy rain on Sunday, the fields barely showed a mark by the time the opening ceremony was held yesterday.

"The wind helped but this ground is always a beauty and there wasn't a drop of moisture," Graham said.

Both teams are in action today against Victoria Country.

The under-13s play at 12.45pm on field one, followed by the under-14s at 2.10pm on field two.

Over 400 elite players from around the nation are visiting for the tournament with entry free and open to the public.

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