Port United and Port Saints return to their home surrounds when the Coastal Premier League Men’s competition heads into round six this weekend.
Both Port Macquarie sides haven’t sat in the home dressing sheds so far this season due to wet weather, but coaches Oliver King and Adam Bruest are chomping at the bit.
United head into their clash with Boambee confident they can build on a strong showing against Coffs City United last weekend.
The Lions got the points, but they were pushed all the way in the 2-1 victory.
“They’re the benchmark; we knew where we were going to be at the end of the game and I was impressed with our first half hour,” Bruest said.
“We knew fatigue was going to be a factor because we didn’t train for three weeks, but if the first 30 minutes are our blueprint, and if we can do it for 90 minutes, we’ll go a long way this season.”
United will be without Matt Bale due to touch football commitments, but hope to welcome back Matt Broderick from a bout of COVID.
Port Saints coach Oliver King was also buoyed by his sides’ last performance – a 2-all draw with Southern United.
And while they will be undermanned for the clash with Northern Storm, the coach was confident in the club’s depth.
“We’ll be a tiny bit undermanned, but that’s not unusual,” he said.
“When you look at our reserves, they’re four from four so it’s not like we’re low on depth. There’s several players who play reserve grade most weekends who can comfortably start first grade most weekends.”
The Storm’s formline has been a bit up-and-down and King said they would try not to read too much into it.
“We’re going to keep it simple and if we play similar to how we played against Southern we should get a decent result,” he said.
“Northern Storm can be up and down. They can have really good days and some pretty bad days.”
In other weekend fixtures, Sawtell host Macleay Valley, Coffs United travel to Taree, Kempsey Saints host Southern United and Bellingen and Coffs Tigers do battle on the Coffs synthetics.