Same, same, but different – that looms as the story for Coffs City United in this year’s Coastal Premier League campaign.
Coffs United swept basically all before them in 2020, winning the inaugural combined Coastal Premier League, and reaching the grand final of the CPL North Conference where they were bested 1-nil in a nail-biter with Boambee.
Head coach Glen Williams said he expects to have up to 20 first graders to select from this year – and there’s been some key ins and outs.
“We’ve had a couple of retirements and one leave, but we’ve picked up a couple of good young players from elsewhere,” Glen said.
“We’ve got an English guy who’s been in Australia for six years and just moved to the coast. He’s going to be very handy, and we’ve also picked up a young guy from Lismore.”
Coffs United are especially pleased to see the imminent return of 19-year-old excitement machine Ky Birmingham.
“Ky had a massive ACL tear two years ago – a very bad injury – but he’s back now and he’s fit, so I am looking forward to unleashing him,” Glen said.
“He’s a natural left footer and could play anywhere on that side from left back to up front.”
Glen said United would stick to the structure which brought them so much success in 2020 – but the personnel would be different.
Asked to rate the team’s past season, he said: “I wouldn’t give it a 10 out of 10 because we didn’t win the grand final, but it’s pretty close to that.
“I said after the grand final, it’s the way Australian sport is played in that it comes down to just one game.
“Many have said that we dominated large parts of that (decider) but just didn’t put it away.
“And people will say we didn’t win the CPL because it was decided after just one round – but we still had to be in front at that time. I certainly don’t discount what we did.”
Glen said the CPL concept of testing the best against the best in North Coast and Mid North Coast football was sound.
“The competition is a lot stronger. I thought the NCF in their first year did a great job, particularly with all that was going on where decisions had to be made on the fly.”