Rep pride is at stake this year
AFL North Coast puts its representative football pride on the line at Port Macquarie today against an invigorated Tamworth/Armidale combination.
The Coast has held the honours for a number of years now and has in the past inflicted some heavy losses on its western cousins.
However, that is not expected this year.
The TAFL has an almost full list to pick from, while the North Coast has been decimated by injuries.
AFLNC coach Peter Chadwick was very wary about his opponents.
"The Armidale side went close to knocking off the Black Diamond premiers in the pre-season cup and have a lot of talented players," Chadwick said.
Despite not having the best players at his disposal, Chadwick was upbeat about his squad.
"We have some really experienced campaigners like Mark Couzens and Greg Dean and the other boys picked are the ones that want to represent the North Coast and will have a real crack," he said.
"This is the best quality of football a lot of them will get to play and that tends to bring out their best."
New faces in the side include the in form Nicklaus Stanlan-Velt (North Coffs), star Coffs Swans junior McKinlay Pearce, basketball convert Mitchell Cole from Sawtell and the excitement machine himself Jackson Ireland from Camden Haven.
An impressive training session on Thursday night in Coffs Harbour has the team full of confidence and they will not relinquish the shield without a fight.
In first for the area there will be a full day of representative football at Wayne Richards Oval starting at 9am for under-13s, 10.30am for under-15s, midday for the under-18s and the big game at 2.15pm.