Image: Northern Daily Leader

Premier Division – Round 7 & 8 Preview

June 3rd, 2021

It is a weekend of double header action in the Northern Inland Premier Men’s division this weekend, with six games across two days to deliver a treat for football fans in the region.

The Saturday-Sunday double forms round seven and eight of the competition, with the competition on break over the June long weekend.

On Saturday, South United host Moore Creek, Tamworth face Oxley Vale Attunga and Gunnedah make the trip east to tackle North Companions.

Round eight action then sees Gunnedah host South United, while Moore Creek welcome Kootingal. North Companions face Oxley Vale Attunga.

At the top of the table after six rounds, Oxley Vale Attunga coach Tim Coates expects his side to be as per program for the match against Tamworth, with the exception of Brendon Fergie.

“We expect to be without injured experienced defender Brendon Fergie for both games and will check fitness of other players at training,” he said.

“Two hard games over two days will test the fitness of all clubs and it’s a big ask however can you ever get to much Football?”

Gunnedah, fresh of a win against Tamworth, will be hoping to continue its strong form when they face North Companions at Marius Street. Three points separates the sides on the table, though Gunnedah hold a far superior goal difference.

“Hopefully on Saturday we get away with no injuries and have the numbers to back up on Sunday,” coach Andy Cygan said.

Gunnedah have been bolstered in recent weeks by the presence of three overseas players, Bruno Perroni, Bautista Burgos, and Karl-Lembit Usta. Cygan describing their influence as “massive,” while noting their on-field performance as “brilliant.”

Sadly, all three are set to return home within the next month, leaving a void for Gunnedah to fill.

“We’re just trying to get as many points as possible on the board… The back half of the season we’re just going to have to persevere and have people step up,” the Gunnedah mentor said.

Less than 24-hours after the final whistle on Saturday, Gunnedah will take on South United.

“The first time we played Souths we found them pretty tough… We’re expecting a tough task on Sunday as well,” Cygan said.

“If we can win both games on the weekend that will put us in a really good position.”

Saturday’s other match, between the fifth placed South United and sixth placed Moore Creek gets underway at Gipps Street at 3pm.

Tamworth is the only team to avoid Sunday afternoon football, with the fourth placed side afforded a bye in round eight. Kootingal has the bye on Saturday.

At the lower end of the table, Moore Creek and Kootingal will be looking to turn the tide on their season on Sunday, after what has been a disappointing start to the year.

The Kougars have conceded 27-goals in six rounds, with the side’s only result coming in the form of a draw against Sunday’s opponents back in round one. Moore Creek has one-win, one-draw, and four-losses to start the year.

Meanwhile, pending other results, if North Companions can knock over competition heavyweights Oxley Vale Attunga on Sunday they could move into second on the table. Kick-off at Marius Street is at 3pm.

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