Local footy fans will get to see the Cessnock Goannas for the first time this year on Saturday when they play Central Coast team Woy Woy in the new look pre-season competition.
“After the disappointment of having the annual Charity Shield cancelled due to the wet weather all the players are keen to get on the field and stake their claim for a position in the top grade squad,” club spokesperson David Woodbury said.
“Cessnock have kept the majority of last year’s grand final team so it should be a smooth introduction to the year, but there are some interesting younger players that will be keen to put some pressure on the top squad as well as some unknown talent that has arrived at the club from Queensland, England and New Zealand.
“These players should along with returning local players give the club a lot more depth than last season.
“In an interesting concept two local clubs will play two Central Coast teams over the next couple of weeks and it is rather ironic that the other Newcastle team to play at Cessnock this weekend is our arch rival Wests, who will play Ourimbah in an earlier game.
“The follow up to this is that Cessnock will play Wests in the first competition game on April 14, I doubt either coaches will be keen to give too much away.
“Coach Todd Edwards is really keen to get an indication from his players how hungry they are to seek revenge on Wests from last season’s disappointing grand final loss,” Woodbury said.
The first game on the afternoon will be Wests playing Ourimbah in a lower grade fixture at 12.30pm, with Wests first grade playing at 2.30pm.
Cessnock will have their first game with the local Under 18’s who will play at 4pm. First grade will begin at 6pm.
This weekend will be the Goannas’ last game at home until April 20 when they host Macquarie in round two of the competition.
The club is encouraging people to come along and run your eyes over the established and new players that might take the Goannas to that elusive grand final victory.