Local derbies to pump things up

LOCAL derbies abound when the Northern Inland Football’s Premier League heads into second-round matches tomorrow.

With just two games played last weekend, many of the sides will have their first premiership games tomorrow.

All Northern Conference matches were washed out last week, with South Armidale and East Armidale matched in a local derby at Armidale Sportsground while North Armidale and Demon Knights play their first game at North’s Phil Wheaton Oval.

Guyra and Inverell’s Joeys FC complete the  round at Guyra.

In the Southern Conference, the Gunnedah local derby between the Gunnedah Hawks and  Gunnedah United will be  a highlight.

Hawks coach Gary Sams is sure his side will be better.

“We do have a handy squad,” he said after Saturday’s five-goal loss.

“It’s  just a matter of all the new players gelling.

“You can’t expect that in the first game. We will improve.”

In Tamworth, Moree arrives to tackle reigning premiers Tamworth FC at Gipps Street.

Moree began its  season with a 5-1 home loss to North Companions while Oxley Vale Attunga hammered 10-man Gunnedah Hawks 5-nil in Tamworth.

OVA had numerous chances to add to their score in the second half at Cross Park last Saturday and new coach Tim Coates will be hoping they aren’t as wasteful against a good, young North Companions.

“We’ll have a few key players back for that local derby,”  Coates said.

“And having players like Troy Keyte come back after four years adds a lot of experience to the club. We have some good 16-year-old players too.”

Premier League clubs should  send match report sheets to The Leader by 7pm tomorrow (fax 67667631 or by emailing geoff.newling@fairfaxmedia.com.au).

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