Sport

Glance at the teams - your local soccer season preview

RIVALS: Woombye's Corey Towle on the ball during last year's grand final against eventual champion Kawana. He will play for Maroochydore this year.
RIVALS: Woombye's Corey Towle on the ball during last year's grand final against eventual champion Kawana. He will play for Maroochydore this year. John McCutcheon

IT looms as a bumper season on the Sunshine Coast Football scene.

There's droves of junior divisions for boys and girls and burgeoning women's competitions, including a top flight with four teams.

The premier men's competition boasts nine teams, which is one less than last season following Coolum's withdrawal but significantly more than than the region's main rugby league, Aussie rules and rugby union competitions.

It's an extended season too, with teams set to tackle 27 rounds instead of 18 so depth will play a significant role.

It all starts on Saturday when Buderim hosts Beegees, Nambour Yandina entertains Gympie, Noosa hosts reigning premier Maroochydore and Woombye is at home to Caloundra. Reigning grand final victor Kawana has a bye.

Here's a breakdown of the teams.

BEEGEES

Coach: Daniel Carew

Venue: Steve Irwin Way, Glasshouse Mountains

Co-captains: Damien Cox, Zac Carew, Cameron Nairn, Ronald Woulfe, Cory Robbins, Andras Brixon.

Key players: Jed Zanos, Cameron Nairn, Daniel Machell

Coach's comment: We had a good pre-season with a lot of new boys coming in. We're looking to play a good style of football and looking to re-brand the club, bringing younger boys through to hopefully give them opportunities to get to bigger clubs inter-state.

Last year: Wooden spoon

Last silverware: 1996 champion

BUDERIM

Coach: Craig Williams/Warren Crickmore

Venue: Ballinger Road, Buderim

Club captain: Robbie McDonald

Key players: Joal Couacaud, James Verdin, Shaun Callanan, Sam Bennett

Coach's comment: We've worked very hard to put together a squad with depth, in light of the season being three rounds (24 games) and we've felt we've done that. I'm very happy with our squad, with very good existing players and the players who have come in have definitely helped. The key for us this year is good depth and we believe that with the squad we've put together, we have that.

Last year: Third in premiership (fourth in finals)

Last silverware: 2010 premier

CALOUNDRA

Coach: Dave Benstead

Venue: Meridan Way, Meridan Plains

Captain: Mackenzie Smith

Key players: Ray Schultz, Kaine Frew, Josh Chumbley

Comment: (From president Nic Basile): They have bonded really well because they're all good friends and there is quite a strong group of kids who are coming through. We're very optimistic but it's a long season so you never really know what will happen. The boys are due for some silverware. Every year at our presentations I remind them our juniors have become quite successful and the pressure is now on the seniors to do the same thing. I know they hear that because they've wanted to stay together to build something. They're working really hard, harder than I've seen them for a long time. This could be the year for Caloundra.

Last year: Sixth

Last silverware: 1995 champion

GYMPIE

Coach: Daniel Baker

Venue: Crescent Road, Gympie

Captain: Nathan Nolan

Key players: Liam Watson, Dion Upton, Percy Cash.

Coach's comment: We're shaping up well. The fitness is strong which is good and our expectations for the season are to be pushing the top four.

Last year: Ninth

Last silverware: Nil

KAWANA

Coach: Scott McLean

Venue: Milieu Place, Birtinya

Captain: Luke Ricketts

Key players: Tim Lawson, Brandon Lee, Clay Maynard

Coach's comment: We never talk about where we want to finish. We just know if we put in a performance that will look after itself. We are probably a bit underdone but given it's a long season, that's part of the plan. Don't expect us to be at our best until midway through the season.

Last year: Runner-up (champion)

Last silverware: 2016 champion

MAROOCHYDORE

Coach: Garrad Zammit

Venue: Maroochydore Road, Kuluin

Captain: Nick Arden

Key players: Nick Arden, Michael Scarff, Taylor Walkinshaw

Coach's comment: We're happy with where we are at the moment. It's a new year, I think every team has improved, there has been quite a lot of changes and it's going to be a very tough competition. The longer season is going to really test our management of the boys.

Last year: Premier (third)

Last silverware: 2013 premier and champion

NAMBOUR-YANDINA

Coach: Ian Runcie

Captain: Korey Nix

Venue: North St, Yandina

Key players: Jamie Vibert, Andy Harrison, Joshua Cooke, Kallum Nix

Coach's comment: Our expectations are the same as last year. We're still in a process of rebuilding the club but I'm hoping to have a bigger improvement this year, with the new players we've brought in. We'll be very competitive. Any teams that come up to NYU will have to work hard to beat us.

Last year: Fifth

Last silverware: Nil

NOOSA

Coach: Kevin A'herne Evans

Venue: Eenie Creek Road, Sunshine Beach

Co-captains: Sam Nichols, Grant de Chastel, Chris Nancevski

Key players: Matt Thompson, Matt Needham, Grant de Chastel

Coach's comment: The beauty of the 24 games is you can have a lighter pre-season. In previous years points were crucial from the get-go. But the start of the season is going to be tough, playing the premier in the first game. Maroochydore looks really strong. We want to make sure we have a good home record this year. There's a lot of ground to make up. We were 15 points away from Maroochydore last year and you look at the quality in Kawana, which is a superb outfit. We'd love to be in a position where we could be in and around the top four with five or six games to go. We're a determined group, which has a lot of energy and is very quick.

Last year: Seventh

Last silverware: 2001 champion

WOOMBYE

Coach: Michael Bebbington

Venue: Back Woombye Road, Woombye

Captain: Mark Polley

Key players: Luke Alderson, Nick Close, Leon Tyrrell

Coach's comment: We've lost a lot of senior guys. They've either retired or gone to other clubs so it's a revitalised, refreshed team. A lot of reserve grade guys from last year have come up into the side. I'm still really positive that we've got a top four side. We want to do well and win it but realistically, with seven or eight players (leaving) from last year's first grade side, that's a big change. So I'm aiming for top four and who knows what will happen in finals.

Last year: Fourth (runner-up)

Last silverware: 2016 premier

Topics:  coast football sunshine



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