The Kempsey Saints Football Club will have their first official hit out of the season at the Challenge Cup this weekend.
The club will send three teams, two men’s and one women’s side.
First grade coach Matt Baker says the three sides will be strong but the men’s teams will be under-strength.
“There will be half a dozen or more players from our first grade side that will be out due to cricket commitments,” Baker explained.
“We have great numbers though and a lot of depth so we will still have competitive sides.”
One men’s side will be made up of first and reserve grade players while the other team will have players from the men’s side and juniors.
“I am looking forward to seeing the side get onto the field and get some fitness under their belts,” Baker said.
“It will be a good opportunity to look at younger players pushing for a first grade spot in a game situation.”
“We have a few new players who haven’t played together and the more game time we can get than the better chance we have to gel as a team.”
Baker said it will give him an understanding of the level his side is at.
“I will be able to see the areas that need working on,” he said.
The women’s side is expected to be strong and will have players from last years grand final winning team.
The Saints have scheduled their FFA Cup first round meeting with Tuncurry for Saturday April 1.
“Like any match we will go into the FFA Cup with the hopes of advancing,” Baker said.
“However, our focus is on preparing for the season. If we win then happy days but if we lose then it is just onto the next match.”
The Saints have organised two more trial games in the lead up to the season opener of the Mid North Coast competition against Port United on April 22.
“We are hopeful for another successful season and I believe we have the side to make that happen.”