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HCCAFL: Newcastle City striving for excellence again

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An inner-city battle is sure to provide plenty of fireworks for the season opener of the 2022 Hunter Central Coast AFL (HCCAFL) this weekend.

Powerhouse Newcastle City Blues will venture to the Pasterfield Sports Complex on Saturday 2 April to lock horns with long-time adversaries Cardiff Hawks.

The two clubs are scheduled to line-up in four clashes – Black Diamond Cup Men’s and Women’s, as well as Black Diamond Plate Men’s and Women’s, which should offer spectators some exciting action.

A fifth Newcastle City outfit heads to Feighan Oval to face the Muswellbrook Cats in the Shield division.

But, all eyes will be on Pasterfield and the much-awaited local derby.

“It’s a good first-up test for us,” Blues star Liam Carroll said.

“And, of course, there’s that rivalry between the two cities.

“What a great way to start round one by having a hit-out against those guys.”

Although disappointed with the way 2021 wrapped up, Carroll admitted it wasn’t all doom and gloom.

“Obviously, it was a tough one with the season coming to a halt,” he said.

“But, in terms of our performance, I think we were there or thereabouts.

“We were looking fairly good heading into the finals.

“However, at the end of the day, the competition was cut short.

“So, it’s hard to say how 2021 was, I guess.

“Everyone enjoyed themselves.

“But, now, we’re keen for 2022.

“I think we can use what we achieved as motivation for this year.

“Especially, after the past two seasons we’ve had.

“We pretty much played half a year in both 2020 and 2021.

“So, everyone’s raring to go and, hopefully, we’ll get a full season on the board.”

Newcastle City finished second on the Black Diamond Cup ladder behind the Terrigal Avoca Panthers.

And, Carroll said the aim was to maintain the club’s lofty standards.

“Certainly, for an organisation like the Blues, you want to target a top-two position and give yourself the best chance to win a couple of flags in all grades,” he told the Newcastle Weekly.

“We’ve had good numbers at training – everyone seems keen.

“The main goal for Newcastle City is always to be there at the business end, that’s what we’re striving for in 2022.

“However, the Panthers are the team to beat again.”

Carroll believes the departures of several key players won’t derail the Blues’ plans either.

“People have moved out of town for whatever reason,” he said.

“We’ve lost a few first-graders, as well as guys in our other teams.

“I understand it’s the same situation throughout the competition.

“But, it presents an opportunity for our younger blokes to come through and have a crack.”

HCCAFL round one draw

(Saturday 2 April)

Black Diamond Cup Men’s

  • Cardiff Hawks v Newcastle City Blues (Pasterfield Sports Complex)
  • Killarney Vale Bombers v Terrigal Avoca Panthers (Adelaide Street Oval)
  • Warners Bay Bulldogs v Singleton Roosters (Feighan Oval 1)
  • Bye: Maitland Saints

Black Diamond Cup Women’s

  • Cardiff Hawks v Newcastle City Blues (Pasterfield Sports Complex)
  • Killarney Vale Bombers v Terrigal Avoca Panthers (Adelaide Street Oval)
  • Wyong Lakes Magpies v Maitland Saints (Don Small Oval/Northlakes)
  • Warners Bay Bulldogs v Singleton Roosters (Feighan Oval 1)

Black Diamond Plate Men’s

  • Cardiff Hawks v Newcastle City Blues (Pasterfield Sports Complex)
  • Killarney Vale Bombers v Nelson Bay Marlins (Adelaide Street Oval)
  • Wyong Lakes Magpies v Wallsend West Newcastle Swans (Don Small Oval/Northlakes)
  • Lake Macquarie Dockers v Terrigal Avoca Panthers (Tulkaba Park)
  • Bye: The Entrance Bateau Bay

Black Diamond Plate Women’s

  • Cardiff Hawks v Newcastle City Blues (Pasterfield Sports Complex)
  • Killarney Vale Bombers v Port Stephens Power (Adelaide Street Oval)
  • Gosford Tigers v Wallsend West Newcastle Swans (Adcock Park)
  • Lake Macquarie Dockers v Terrigal Avoca Panthers (Tulkaba Park)
  • Bye: The Entrance Bateau Bay

Black Diamond Shield

  • Muswellbrook Rams v Newcastle City Blues (Feighan Oval)
  • Gosford Tigers v Maitland Saints (Adcock Park)
  • Warners Bay Bulldogs v The Entrance Bateau Bay (Feighan Oval 1)
  • Bye: Killarney Vale Bombers

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