Taree Wildcats first game in rough conditions

Whenever Dylan Webber has previously pulled on a Taree Wildcats jersey he’s often settled into a position close to halfway at kick-off.

But over the past two seasons he has found himself standing between the sticks for the Cats at the defensive end of the park when the referee signals the start of the match.

More accustomed to putting the ball in the back of the net coming through the grades, Webber had to pull it out five separate times in Taree’s disappointing 5-0 opening round Coastal Premier League defeat to Port Saints.

In aquatic conditions, there was nothing fancy about his return to Taree after he answered an SOS from coach Ben Sedlen and made the move south from near the Queensland border.

“(The conditions) were rough,” he said.

“You’d go to kick the ball out of your hands and your left foot would sink about a foot deep into the dirt and it was hard to gauge how far you were going to kick the ball or if you were going to slip.

“We were playing in close to a couple of inches of water just underneath the surface of the grass so it was really boggy and wet but it was good fun at the end of the day.”

Overall, the 22-year-old was satisfied with his performance and admitted there wasn’t much he could have done about the goals the side conceded.

“The goals that got through were unsaveable from my perspective because I’m not the tallest goalkeeper in the world, but I’m agile enough to get to most balls that come at me,” he said.

“They were all pretty fine goals from the Saints boys.”

He learned the hard way not to give Saints marksman Roan Whiteman an opportunity.

“Don’t give him penalties. He finishes them. No goalkeeper is saving them when they go just under the crossbar,” he said.

Webber admitted the departure of regular goalkeeper Curtis Jones to Port Saints had provided him with an opportunity to lock down a permanent starting berth.

“The game last week was good fun, it’s going to be a challenge but overall I can look forward to it every week and can’t wait to get back out there,” he said.

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