Lions prepare for another contender as Storm blows into town

Glenn Williams knows he has a fit football side, but now he wants a focused one.

Coffs City faces another contender on Saturday when they host Northern Storm in yet another top of the table clash.

The coach has a side that he knows will still run as much in the 90th minute as they did in the ninth, but will they be as focused?

They will have to be because Williams knows the Storm won’t stop competing no matter what the scoreboard reads.

“One of the things about them is they do not give up whether they’re 5-0 down or 1-0 up … they keep coming at you,” he said.

“We’ve got to be fully aware for 90 minutes, and our attack is clicking at the moment, so we need to keep that going and score some goals.”

A tough pre-season has the Lions in good shape physically – and they will need to be as the competition progresses into October.

“The boys struggled a bit last Saturday because it was warm and they’re not really used to that, but I said to them the closer we get to October it’s only getting warmer and warmer,” Williams said.

“But it’s not so much fitness being the focus for us now. It’s more about being focused for 90 minutes and not 60.”

United will have almost a full deck of cards available in coming weeks with captain Aaron Allsopp returning from an ankle injury.

“He won’t start in firsts, but will get some time in reserves in the next few weeks.”

Northern Storm coach Eric McCarthy is aware of how tough the challenge ahead is.

“They’re scoring goals for fun,” he said.

“You have to be at your absolute peak to get a result against Coffs United. They’re a mature side who have a good mixture of experience and youth.”

Defensively, the Storm will have to be at their best and minimise costly errors that have punctuated their season.

They conceded regular goals at inopportune times before the competition split into two conferences.

“From open play, we’re not conceding a lot, but defensive errors have been a bit of a tale of our season,” McCarthy said.

“We’re at full strength this week, so the only excuse we can have is that a better side beats us on the day if it happens.”

Also this weekend, Coffs Coast Tigers play North Coast and Sawtell is at home to Boambee.

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