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The Rock-itt : March 2010
Here we go; it's the start of the 2010 Football NSW Premier League Competition. What's that then I hear you ask (I have good hearing) well, it's the Premier State Football Championship, second only in quality to the 'A' League. I thought I would take a little time this month to tell you about it and why you might want to lend your support to Manly United. It's a semi- professional tournament played between 12 clubs across New South Wales. The more wealthy clubs are paying some of their top players up to $1,000 per game and I'm sure in a couple of cases probably even more than that. I must say straight away that currently Manly United are not one of the wealthy clubs and whilst our boys are worthy of the riches on offer, this season will not be their most lucrative. The clubs involved are; Manly United Sutherland Sharks Sydney Olympic South Coast Wolves (Formerly Wollongong Wolves) Sydney United APIA Tigers (formerly APIA Leichardt) Rockdale City Suns Blacktown City FC Bankstown City Marconi Stallions West Sydney Berries Bonnyrigg White Eagles Current reigning Minor Premiers are Sydney United and the Grand Final Winners and reigning Major Premiers are Sutherland Sharks, who beat Marconi Stallions 4-1 in the final back in September. This year's favourites would have to be Bonnyrigg White Eagles on the strength of how much they have spent on player recruitment and presumably the salaries that go with it. Rockdale City Suns will be making their debut in the Premier League this season having been promoted from The Football NSW Super League. They also have a spiffing new ground that we visit for the first time on Sunday 21st March, KO 6pm. Manly United play all their home games at Cromer Park which is on South Creek Road in Cromer. All our home games will be on Sundays, First Grade kicking off at 6pm preceded by the Grade 20's at 4pm. It will cost you $12 to get in if you aren't an MWFA member. There is a licensed bar and we now have a Pizza Restaurant on site as well as a canteen to keep you topped up. The NSW Premier League, along with it's contemporaries in the other States is a major supplier of players to the A League and here at Manly we are hopeful of getting a few of our players back from the A League to help the cause. Most certainly we are expecting the return of Justin Hayward and Joey Gibbs from the Sydney FC youth team. Justin has just been on loan to them for the last month having signed a First Grade contract at Manly early in January. Joey has been with Sydney for most of the A League season but should return to us and be in contention for a first team place. We have a good squad at Manly United and even with the tribulations of having to work with a smaller budget, Head Coach Phil Moss has managed to retain most of the team that made it into the Play Offs last season. There are a few new comers; Adam Foti has joined the team after a spell playing in Europe. He sustained an injury whist playing at Blacktown in a warm up game a couple of weeks ago but will back raring to go for the season opener. Two of last year's senior players will no longer be in the squad, Spencer Prior having retired and Mathew Bingley having moved to the UK. It's essential to have a mixed group of players, experienced with inexperienced and Phil Moss has filled the gaps vacated by Mathew and Spencer by bringing in former Socceroo Luke Casserly to guide the team with his experience, particularly in defence. Luke said at the start of last season which he spent with Blacktown that 2009 would be his last. Thankfully however his fitness belies the fact that he is 36 and he feels he spoke Adam Foti, can he score for Manly? The Lucas Neill stand at Cromer Park, home of Manly United.