This weekend sees a big weekend of football around the region.
In the McDonald’s Northern Inland Premier League there is a host of derby matches today.
In the Northern Conference, Joeys FC United travel to Guyra to take on the Caspers, Norths United play host to Demon Knights at Phil Wheaton Oval and South Armidale take on East Armidale United at the Armidale Sportsground.
In Southern Conference matches, Gunnedah Hawks match up with Gunnedah United at Kitchener Park, while Oxley Vale Attunga take on North Companions and Tamworth FC matches up against Moree, both at the Gipps Street Fields. Narrabri/Wee Waa have the bye.
The Tamworth District Football local junior and senior competitions commence today as well, with a host of matches being played at the Gipps St fields from 8.30am.
There is a new club too, with Manilla United Football Club taking the field for the first time with a number of junior teams and one senior team.
The Northern Inland Football Skill Acquisition (U10, U11, U12 & U13 boys + U12 & U14 Girls) and Game Training (Under 14 Boys) squads travel to Coffs Harbour tomorrow for their next inter-zone tournament.
Also tomorrow, the NIF Under 9s Development squads (one Northern Squad, two southern squads) travel to Port Macquarie for an inter-zone gala day.
Tamworth District Football (TDF) has announced men’s and women’s T-League to kick-off the 2014 winter football season.
Football continues to grow in Tamworth, with another increase in teams and registrations this year.
TDF Operations Officer Wayne Clarke said there were162 teams entered in all competitions this year from Under 6s up to mens and women’s open.
This is an increase of four from 2013 and this continues the increase from season to season recorded over the past five years.
The latest innovation is the men’s and women’s T-League.
In the men’s competition, two new teams have entered, resulting in there being three levels of competition, while the women’s competition has retained the same number of teams as last year and will be an eight-team competition.
The men’s competition will consist of first, second and third grade competitions with six teams in each grade.
Clubs are only allowed to enter first and second grade if they have two teams. Clubs that only have one team must play in third grade.
The competition structure only became possible, with an extra two teams being entered in the men’s competition this year.
Quirindi United, who in previous years only had enough players to field one team, have enough players this year to field a first and second grade team.
In addition, 2014 sees a brand new club, the Manilla United Hornets, entering the TDF competition.
In their first year they have entered seven teams from under 6s up to senior men.
Club president Richard Nunn is very pleased with the first year entries and is confident the club will continue to grow in the future.
While this year the Manilla men’s team must play in the third grade competition, Nunn is confident they will be able to field two teams in the near future and get a start in first or second grade.
Clarke said junior football was very strong and football continued to be the largest participant sport in Tamworth.
He believes that there might have been more children wanting to play than there were spots in teams, although he knows clubs have been moving children around between clubs in order to find them a spot and ensure they get a game.