TEAMS will be aiming to begin the North Gippsland football season on the front foot when it begins tomorrow.
The stage is set for an action-packed opening round with the rematch of last year’s grand final among the highlights.
Early talk has centred on whether reigning premier Sale City, which has been the benchmark of the competition for the past two seasons, has what it takes to make it three premierships in a row, a feat which hasn’t been achieved since the late 1990s.
Sale City will be keen to begin the season well at home against Glengarry.
New Magpies coach Ryan Potter said he had been impressed with his side’s form during practice matches and was hoping it put it all together tomorrow.
“We have shown some good form in past weeks, we have been putting in the hard yards on the track for hopefully a good year,” he said.
“The off-season has seen us focus on adjustments to our game plan, we want to be quicker through the middle of the ground and place more emphasis on our structure.
“We want to get a first up win, but know that it is going to be a challenge against the reigning premiers.”
In other matches, Damien Birss will begin his second spell as Rosedale coach when the Blues host Heyfield, Cowwarr will look to continue its improvement in 2012, beginning at home against a Churchill side seen as another premiership contender, Woodside will host Traralgon-Tyers United, and Gormandale will be aiming to provide Paul Richards with the ideal start to his coaching career when it hosts Boisdale-Briagolong.
STRATFORD faces a major test in its first foray into East Gippsland football tomorrow, hosting premier Lindenow.
While the Swans have shown some form in pre-season, taking on the reigning premier may be too much of an ask for a side which has won the past five North Gippsland wooden spoons.
In other matches, grand finalist Wy Yung will take the short journey to take on Lucknow, and last year’s East Gippsland wooden spooner Paynesville will host Orbost-Snowy Rovers, while Lakes Entrance has the bye.
For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.