2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup Preview Round 4

Round 4 of the Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL competition will be played this Saturday. Fixtures and preview below.

Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup

Gosford vs Lake Macquarie

Adcock Park

2.00pm

Broadcast Match of the Week

Cardiff vs Nelson Bay

Hillsborough Oval

2.00pm

 

Singleton vs Maitland

Rose Point Park

2.00pm

 

Newcastle City vs Killarney Vale

No 1 Sportsground

2.00pm

 

Terrigal Avoca vs Wyong Lakes

Hylton Moore Oval

2.00pm

 

Warners Bay - Bye

     

GE Black Diamond Women’s

Gosford vs Lake Macquarie

Adcock Park

12.00pm

Cardiff vs Nelson Bay

Hillsborough Oval

 12.00pm

Singleton vs Maitland

Rose Point Park

12.00pm

Newcastle City vs Killarney Vale

No 1 Sportsground

12.00pm

Terrigal Avoca vs Wyong Lakes

Hylton Moore Oval

12.00pm

Wallsend-West Newcastle vs Warners Bay

Bill Elliott Oval

12.00pm

Port Stephens vs Muswellbrook

Ferodale Park

12.00pm

The Entrance Bateau Bay vs Newcastle City Nova’s

Bateau Bay

12.00pm


Black Diamond Plate

Gosford vs Lake Macquarie

Adcock Park

10.00am

Cardiff vs Nelson Bay

Hillsborough Oval

10.00am

Singleton vs The Entrance Bateau Bay

Rose Point Park

10.00am

Newcastle City vs Killarney Vale

No 1 Sportsground

10.00am

Terrigal Avoca vs Wyong Lakes

Hylton Moore Oval

10.00am

Wallsend-West Newcastle vs Warners Bay

Bill Elliott Oval

2.00pm

Muswellbrook vs Maitland

Weeraman Field

2.00pm

You will be able to keep to date with all results during the day at http://websites.sportstg.com/comp_info.cgi?c=0-916-0-0-0&a=FIXTURE&compID=478412

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL Round 4 Preview

In the Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup AFL Round 4 fixtures this Saturday, undefeated Cardiff host last round victors Nelson Bay at Hillsborough; Newcastle City are at their No.1 Sportsground headquarters for this first time this season as they host Killarney Vale; Singleton and Maitland, always great rivals, have their first ever Black Diamond Cup local derby at Rose Point Park in Singleton; undefeated Wyong Lakes have an enormous challenge, visiting reigning premiers Terrigal Avoca at Hylton Moore Oval; and the in the BARTV Match of the Round, the Gosford Tigers, chock full of confidence after two very impressive wins in successive rounds over Maitland and Singleton, host the Lake Macquarie Dockers, looking for their first win of the season.

Cardiff have come through the first three rounds, against City, Terrigal Avoca and Warners Bay with flying colours. An outstanding back six, led by Nick Tomlinson and Zac Metcalfe, kept the Bulldogs goal-less last week and launched countless attacking raids. Bryce Graetz has been a standout as a defensive on-baller, making life much easier for fellow won-ballers Marcus DeLeur, Jack Lennon, Simon O’Brien and Tom Yensch.

Josh Murphy, Nelson Brown and the rapidly-improving small forward Lachlan Price have been in great form, Price in particular has been a nightmare for opposition defences with his foot-speed and ability to create something from nothing.

Nelson Bay coach Sean McGrath led his charges to a solid first win of the season last week over Maitland. Jarryd Rymer, back from long-term injury, Mark Spencer and Connor McCartney provided excellent performances supporting stalwarts Billy Barton, Jayden Rymer and rover Adam Grinyer. Barton’s match-up with Yensch will be a beauty this Saturday, and how Nelson Bay break down Cardiff’s vaunted back six will be pivotal to the result of this fixture.

Newcastle City, after the Bye last week, will be chomping at the bit to rip in against Killarney Vale this Saturday, at the Blues headquarters of No.1 Sportsground.

The return of representative ruckman Chris Jackson from Collingullie-Glenfield Park is massive for City, giving them plenty of opportunities in the ruck contests plus an extra follower, such is Jackson’s quality around the ground.

Pat Gillingham, Cam Keast and the very promising Reed van Huisstede give City plenty of targets up forward, with veteran followers Mitchell Knight and Matt Enright giving the Blues plenty of contested ball and quality delivery.

The Bombers will hope coach Scott Reed returns this week, as they only managed four goals last week against Terrigal Avoca. Max Mumford and Josh Mifsud were both solid contributors in their first game of the season last week, and Ryan Coughlan and ruckman Tim Oosterhoff have been very consistent across the first three rounds.

Wyong Lakes head to East Gosford on Saturday undefeated in their two first two matches back in the Black Diamond Cup. The Magpies face a huge task in combatting the reigning premiers Terrigal Avoca in a litmus test of where they are at in their return to the top division.

Club stalwarts Lee Moore, Chris Koop-Folkes and Justin McPhan have started the season in great form for the Magpies, with Max Warran, Peter Drzal and youngster Keaton Jones also in fine form in the Magpies in their 136-point win over the Dockers last week. Wyong Lakes need to find a way to kick a decent score against the traditionally stingy Panthers defence if they to secure an upset victory.

Terrigal Avoca got back to business in a solid win over Killarney Vale last Friday Night. Coach Chris Bishop will be very pleased with his back six after they kept the Bombers goal-less after half-time, and will look for a repeat performance against a confident Magpies forward line led by the experienced Justin McPhan. Brandon Thomas has been in great form in the forward line in the first three rounds, and Jack Grimmond has been the in-form rover across the competition, his run and carry causing huge headaches through the middle of the ground.

Both Singleton and Maitland will look to get back to winning ways in their Hunter Valley derby this Saturday after Round 2 losses. There will be extra incentive with both teams playing for a trophy in memory of former Singleton player, Brian Childs who died tragically in a car accident in 2015, the week after these two teams played.

Maitland, after a poor first half last week, came roaring back in the second half in a positive sign for the Saints. Mitch Greaves, Mick Norton and Dustin Spriggs were excellent for the Saints last week, and Harrison Harbrow and Bailey Challen will look to repeat their Round 2 form as the Saints play their fierce rivals and their Grand Final opponents in the past two year.

Singleton would have been disappointed in losing a thriller at West Gosford last Saturday, and coach Andrew Scott, in his new role across half-back, will be seeking an improved performance across the park as the Roosters seek their second win of the season. Scott’s move to the back six has opened up a followers role for the outstanding Sam Brasington, who has returned to the Black Diamond Cup a better footballer from his time in the Victorian city of Sale. Jackson Kolatchew has emerged as the Roosters key forward this season.

In the BARTV Match of the Round, Gosford welcome Lake Macquarie to Adcock Park. Gosford coach Josh Barty must have been a proud man last Saturday evening as the Tigers completed a wonderful seven days in which they defeated both of the 2017 Plate Grand Finallists, Maitland and Singleton, by a combined twelve points. Barty saw experienced forward Tim Eather kick a match-winning five goals last week, with valuable contributions from Tom Hunt, Mark Haywood and Daniel White. Alex this Saturday against the Dockers.

The Dockers quite simply must win this week, both to kick-start their season and for their own confidence in what has been a tough return to the Black Diamond Cup. Regulars Riley Janissen and Rory Sleeth were good performers last week, ably supported by Clayton Beck and Isaiah Button. Key forward Damon Tually will need a big haul of majors this week if the Dockers are to trouble the Tigers. The Dockers may elect to have a loose man in defence after having big scores kicked on them in their last two losses to City and Wyong Lakes. BARTV coverage starts at 1.55pm from Adcock Park.

In the GE Womens Competition, Nelson Bay are away to Cardiff; Lake Macquarie has a tough away fixture at Adcock Park against Gosford; the Newcastle City Stars host Killarney Vale in what will be a big test for the Bombers; Terrigal Avoca host Wyong Lakes; Maitland are away to Singleton; Wallsend-West Newcastle welcome Warners Bay to Bill Elliott Oval; Muswellbrook make the long trek to Medowie to play Port Stephens and The Entrance Bateau Bay welcome the very much inform Newcastle City Novas to the Bateau Bay Sporting Facility.

In the Black Diamond Plate, reigning premiers Cardiff welcome Nelson Bay to Hillsborough; Singleton host The Entrance Bateau Bay at Rose Point Park; Newcastle City host Killarney Vale; Warners Bay make the short trip to Maryland to play Wallsend-West Newcastle; Muswellbrook host Maitland at Weeraman Field; Wyong Lakes are away to Terrigal Avoca and the Gosford Tigers are at home to Lake Macquarie.

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup Preview Round 3

Round 3 of the Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL competition will be played this Saturday. Fixtures and Preview below..

Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL

Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup

Killarney Vale vs Terrigal Avoca   

Adelaide St Oval

7.30pm

 


Saturday, 21 April 2018

Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup

Nelson Bay vs Maitland

Dick Burwell Oval

2.00pm

Broadcast Match of the Week

Warners Bay vs Cardiff

Feighan Park

2.00pm

Broadcast Match of the Week

Gosford vs Singleton

Adcock Park

2.00pm

 

Wyong Lakes vs Lake Macquarie

Don Small Oval

2.00pm

 

Newcastle City - Bye

     

GE Black Diamond Women’s

Nelson Bay vs Maitland

Dick Burwell Oval

12.00pm

Warners Bay vs Cardiff

Feighan Park

 12.00pm

Wyong Lakes vs Lake Macquarie

Don Small Oval

12.00pm

Killarney Vale vs Terrigal Avoca   

Adelaide St Oval

12.00pm

Muswellbrook vs Newcastle City Nova’s

Weeraman Field

12.00pm

Wallsend-West Newcastle vs Newcastle City Stars

Bill Elliott Oval

12.00pm

Port Stephens vs Gosford

Ferodale Park

12.00pm

The Entrance Bateau Bay vs Singleton

Bateau Bay

12.00pm


Black Diamond Plate

Killarney Vale vs Terrigal Avoca   

Adelaide St Oval

10.00am

Nelson Bay vs Maitland

Dick Burwell Oval

10.00am

Wyong Lakes vs Lake Macquarie

Don Small Oval

10.00am

Gosford vs Muswellbrook

Adcock Parl

10.00am

Warners Bay vs Cardiff

Feighan Park

10.00am

The Entrance Bateau Bay vs Singleton

Bateau Bay

10.00am

Wallsend-West Newcastle vs Newcastle City

Bill Elliott Oval

2.00pm

You will be able to keep to date with all results during the day HERE!

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL Round 3 Preview

In Round 3 Black Diamond Cup action this Saturday, Killarney Vale and Terrigal Avoca have a Friday Night fixture at Adelaide St Oval, Round 2 victors Gosford and Singleton meet at Adcock Park, Nelson Bay host Maitland in one of two games to be featured on BARTV, Wyong Lakes host Lake Macquarie and in the second BARTV Match of the Round, fierce local rivals Warners Bay and Cardiff lock horns at Feighan Park, with a full Anzac Day ceremony to be undertaken before the commencement of that fixture.

Killarney Vale will be confident after their convincing win over Nelson Bay last Saturday. Ryan Coughlan has been in good form for the Bombers, picking up a best on ground last week. Ruckman Tim Oosterhoff’s battle with Panthers follower Sam Ellis will be pivotal to the contest under lights at Adelaide St Oval. Coach Scott Reed, Connor Reilly and Dan Cartwright will look for a continuation of their recent form, with the match-up on Reed very important to the result. Will MacKellar may get some time on Reed given his size and speed, but Reed’s excellent hands and ability to use his body in marking contests sure to cause issues for the Panthers back six.

A new look Terrigal Avoca will need in-form rover Jack Grimmond at his peak on Friday Night. Grimmond’s speed and ability to run & carry were highlight’s in last week’s loss to Cardiff, and how Reed includes negating Grimmond’s influence will be an interesting part of the Bombers pre-game planning.

Gosford’s tough, tight win away to Maitland last week was a massive boost for the entire Tigers club as they have re-entered the Black Diamond Cup. The Tigers defence kept the Saints to a mere six goals, and they will need a repeat of this form as they host Singleton, who have realistic claims on a top four finish this year, such is the quality of their list.

Tigers Coach Josh Barty will look to in-form teammates Dan White, Alex Remy and Scott Burkinshaw as the Tigers return to Adcock Park. Burkinshaw’s possible match-up with star Rooster Sam Brasington is a real focal point in this fixture. Brasington loves to launch attacking raids from halfback, whilst Burkinshaw’s size and marking ability will test the slightly smaller Rooster.

Roosters Coach Andrew Scott will be after the ideal 2-0 start on Saturday, with Scott Moore, Mitch Gaffney, Nick McPherson and gun rover/forward Alex Mitchell sure to trouble the Tigers defensive capabilities.

Nelson Bay welcome Cup newcomers Maitland to the Tomaree Peninsula on the back of two heavy losses in their first two matches. Coach Sean McGrath needs to find some support for Jayden Rymer, Billy Barton and recruit Andrew Last if the Marlins are to secure their first four points of the season. Maitland, after a solid first-up win over the Dockers, were brought crashing back to earth last week by a committed Tigers outfit and will look for a better performance from their forwards as they seek their second victory of the season. Former fullback Rob Eddy managed three majors last week and he will be happy with the wide-open spaces of Dick Burwell Oval to create havoc for a Nelson Bay backline spearheaded by Chris Eddy. Former Marlin Dylan Stuart returns to Dick Burwell Oval for the first time since switching to Max McMahon Oval, whilst Mitch Norquay and Mitch Greaves will look for a continuation of their early season form for the Saints. BARTV coverage of this fixture will commence at 1.55pm

Round 1 winners Wyong Lakes host a desperate Lake Macquarie at Don Small Oval. The Magpies, under coach Michael Tos, had the Bye in Round 2 after a great Round 1 win over Gosford. 2017 Granland Medallist Brayden Tos will look to dominate the ruck contests for the Magpies in this fixture, providing quality ball for the experienced Chris Koop-Folkes, Justin McPhan (who managed seven goals from centre half-forward in Round 1), Lee Moore plus youngsters Tyler Wood and Carter Jones.

Lake Macquarie will be dead keen to rebound from last weeks big loss at the hands of Newcastle City as they make the short trip down the M1 to Tacoma. The Dockers produced a reasonable performance in Round 1, other than poor shooting at goal, and need to replicate that form against a confident Magpies outfit. Dan Zuzek, Sean Clune, Sam Wellard and Damon Tually all need lots of touches to give the Dockers a chance at an away victory.

Warners Bay and Cardiff, always the fiercest of local rivals, have a massive fixture at Feighan Oval to complete Round 3. Both clubs and the League have agreed that this fixture will feature a full Anzac Day ceremony before play, run by Cardiff RSL Sub-branch President Syd Lynch. The teams will be playing for the Cardiff RSL Sub-branch Anzac Trophy.

Warners Bay will look to bounce back from a close round 2 loss away to Singleton. Still missing follower Jake Roach with injury and a number of players through a wedding, the Bulldogs have a huge task to topple high-flying Cardiff, who have beaten League heavyweights Newcastle City and Terrigal Avoca in their first two games. Ben Crawley was outstanding in his new role at centre-half back last week and will have his hands full with the Cardiff forward rotation, featuring Josh Murphy and resting ruckman Tom Yensch. Speedy follower Jack Hardman and Matt Spinks will have a great battle with Hawks skipper Simon O’Brien, whilst full-forward Kayne Gibbs will have a big day, particularly in his defensive work on Cardiff’s backline general Zac Metcalfe.

Cardiff newcomer Nick Tomlinson has been excellent in the first two rounds and forms a lethal halfback line with Chad Mayo and Bryce Graetz, whose play as a defensive centreman was pivotal to the Hawks solid win over Terrigal Avoca last start. BARTV coverage from Feighan Park will commence at 1.50pm.

Newcastle City has the Bye in Round 3 of the Black Diamond Cup.

In the GE Womens Competition, Killarney Vale host Central Coast rivals Terrigal Avoca, The Entrance Bateau Bay are at home to Singleton, Wallsend-West Newcastle welcome the Newcastle City Stars to Bill Elliott Oval, Nelson Bay host Maitland, Lake Macquarie head to Tacoma to take on Wyong Lakes, Gosford make the long trek to Medowie to play new club Port Stephens and Muswellbrook host the Newcastle City Novas.

In the Hunter Haval Black Diamond Plate, Killarney Vale are at home to Terrigal Avoca, The Entrance Bateau Bay host Singleton, Maitland head to Dick Burwell to play hosts Nelson Bay, Wyong Lakes are at home to Lake Macquarie, Warners Bay host Cardiff, Muswellbrook make the long trek to Adcock Park to take on Gosford and Wallsend-West Newcastle are at home in hosting Newcastle City.

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup Preview Round 2

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup Preview Round 2

Round 2 of the Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL competition will be played this Saturday. Fixtures and preview are listed below.

Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup

Killarney Vale vs Nelson Bay   

Adelaide St Oval

2.00pm

 

Terrigal Avoca vs Cardiff

Hylton Moore Oval

2.00pm

Broadcast Match of the Week

Maitland vs Gosford

Max McMahon Oval

2.00pm

 

Lake Macquarie vs Newcastle City

Tulkaba Park

2.00pm

 

Singleton vs Warners Bay

Rose Point Park

2.00pm

 

Wyong Lakes - Bye

     
       

GE Black Diamond Women’s

Killarney Vale vs Nelson Bay   

Adelaide St Oval

12.00pm

Terrigal Avoca vs The Entrance Bateau Bay

Hylton Moore Oval

 12.00pm

Wyong Lakes vs Newcastle City Nova’s

Don Small Oval

12.00pm

Lake Macquarie vs Newcastle City Stars

Tulkaba Park

12.00pm

Maitland vs Muswellbrook

Max McMahon Oval

12.00pm

Singleton vs Warners Bay

Rose Point Park

12.00pm

Gosford vs Cardiff

Adcock Park

12.00pm

Port Stephens vs Wallsend-West Newcastle

Ferodale Park

12.00pm

Black Diamond Plate

Killarney Vale vs Nelson Bay   

Adelaide St Oval

10.00am

Terrigal Avoca vs The Entrance Bateau Bay

Hylton Moore Oval

10.00am

Wyong Lakes vs Wallsend-West Newcastle

Don Small Oval

10.00am

Lake Macquarie vs Newcastle City

Tulkaba Park

10.00am

Maitland vs Muswellbrook

Max McMahon Oval

10.00am

Singleton vs Warners Bay

Rose Point Park

10.00am

Gosford vs Cardiff

Adcock Park

10.00am

Keep to date with all results during the day here...

Round 2 of the Black Diamond Cup sees some great fixtures; the Singleton Roosters play their first game of the season at their Rose Point Park headquarters when they welcome Round 1 victors Warners Bay; Maitland host Gosford; Lake Macquarie host Newcastle City; Killarney Vale and Nelson Bay are after their first wins of the season when they clash at Adelaide St Oval, and in a mouthwatering clash, 2017 Grand Finalists Terrigal Avoca and Cardiff renew acquaintances in the BARTV Match of the Round at Hylton Moore Oval.

Terrigal Avoca & Cardiff, what an enormous fixture so early in the season. This game promises so much at the open expanses of Hylton Moore Oval. The Panthers outclassed Nelson Bay away in Round 1, with regular contributors Brandon Thomas, Jack Grimmond, Alexander White and wily veteran Chris Bishop in great early season form. Sam Ellis’ expected match-up with 2017 Elliott Davey Medallist Tom Yensch will be pivotal to the result, with Hawks coach Nathan Harkness likely to have Yensch rest up forward to give them extra scoring power.

Singleton, under new coach and influential follower Andrew Scott, welcome the very talented Sam Brasington back to Black Diamond Cup football. Brasington, Scott and Alex Mitchell must fire if the Roosters are to thwart a confident Bulldogs outfit. Bulldogs coach Marty Reiman had the returning Jack Hardman kick six majors in Round 1and he again looks to Hardman and Nic Turner to repeat their Round 1 form as the Bulldogs enter new territory at Rose Point Park.

Maitland will look to commence their first foray into Cup action with a second successive victory over Gosford at Rutherford. Mitchell Greaves, Mitch Saxby, Casey Parsons and experienced ruckman Mick Peate took care of business in the Saints 33 point win over inaccurate Laker Macquarie. The Tigers will be disappointed in going down to Central Coast rivals Wyong Lakes by ten goals last week, with new coach Josh Barty sure to look at the Tigers defensive structures this week after letting the Magpies kick twenty goals in Round 1.

Lake Macquarie will rue poor shooting against Maitland in Round 1, converting only six opportunities from twenty-two shots at goal at home. Damon Tually kicked four goals last week for the Dockers, and Lake Macquarie will to Tually, Sean Clune and Rory Sleeth to shine again as they host a rebounding City. The Blues, welcoming back outstanding ruckman, Chris Jackson took it right to the Hawks last week, with eight players 18 or under (the youngest City team in a generation) proving their fighting qualities in a great game at Hillsborough.

Nelson Bay head to Adelaide St Oval after being belted by a ruthless Terrigal Avoca outfit at Dick Burwell Oval last week. Coach Sean McGrath needs to quickly find some avenues to goal after the Marlins managed a paltry four majors in Round 1. Jayden Rymer and Billy Barton need some support around the ground as the Marlins adapt to life without Luke Price, Aaron Clayden and the Eddy twins, Jeremy & Ben. Bombers coach Scott Reed will be sweating on the fitness of Round 1 absentees Josh Mifsud and Max Mumford as Killarney Vale seek to open their account at the beloved Adelaide St headquarters.

Wyong Lakes has the Bye in the Cup.

In the GE Womens Competition, Gosford host Cardiff at Adcock Park. First round victors Killarney Vale and Nelson Bay have a massive clash at Adelaide St Oval. Wyong Lakes host the Newcastle City Novas at Don Small Oval, with sides recording convincing victories in Round 1. Newcomers Port Stephens and Wallsend-West Newcastle meet at Ferodale Park in Medowie, with the victor
recording their first-ever win in the BDAFL. Similarly, near-neighbours Terrigal Avoca and The Entrance Bateau Bay will be looking for their first win after big losses in their first games in the BDAFL. Maitland host Hunter Valley rivals Muswellbrook at the upgraded Max McMahon Oval in Rutherford, and Warners Bay has a tough trek to Rose Point Park to play the Singleton Roosterettes.

In the final match of Round 2, the Newcastle City Stars make the short trip to Teralba to play hosts Lake Macquarie.

In the Black Diamond Plate, Cardiff is away to Gosford; Nelson Bay journey to Tumbi Umbi to play hosts Killarney Vale; Wyong Lakes host Wallsend-West Newcastle; The Entrance Bateau Bay head to Hylton Moore Oval in East Gosford to play Terrigal Avoca; Maitland are at home to Muswellbrook; Singleton host Warners Bay and Lake Macquarie welcome Newcastle City to Tulkaba Park.

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup Preview Round 1

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup Preview

BDAFL Hunter Haval Logo

Terrigal Avoca’s defence of their hard-earned 2017 premiership sees a radically different Black Diamond Cup landscape and the most open season in years. The increase to a eleven team competition and the addition of the Community Club Sustainability Program (CCSP) adds a new dimension to the Cup, with all clubs now having to add careful mathematics to their weekly selection meetings.

The Panthers now have three Central Coast derbies with the addition of Gosford and Wyong Lakes into the Cup. Teralba-based Lake Macquarie enter the Cup as well, and the Black Diamond Cup makes a very important foray into the Hunter Valley with the addition of the 2017 Black Diamond Plate grand finallists, the Maitland Saints and the Singleton Roosters.

There has been the usual comings and goings in the off-season which keeps challenging the clubs. Premiers Terrigal Avoca has seen the departure of Peter Van Dam, Alastair Richardson and premiership-winning coach Mark Skuse (retired) and key backman James Hart (travelling) whilst key midfielders Corey Billins (ankle) and Kurt Fleming (shoulder) will miss a large part of the season. A positive for the Panthers is the return of James Webster after missing the majority of the 2018 season with a knee injury.

Cardiff may well be the early favourites for the flag. Nick Chapman has departed, but the outstanding midfield trifecta of Elliott Davey Medallist Tom Yensch, Marcus DeLeur and Simon O’Brien give the Hawks an outstanding midfield in their last season at Hillsborough before moving to their brand new headquarters, the Pasterfield Complex at Cameron Park.

Nelson Bay has a huge task. Coach Sean McGrath has to overcome the loss of Luke Price, veteran Aaron Clayden, the Eddy twins Ben & Jeremy, Todd Thornton and Harrison Freund, placing a huge dependence on brilliant midfielder Jayden Rymer, ruckman Billy Barton and the success story of the Marlins 2017 season, fullback Chris Eddy.

Newcastle City welcome back talented ruckman Chris Jackson to No.1 Sportsground as they seek to atone for a rare minor semi-final loss to Nelson Bay at a windswept Dick Burwell Oval last year. His addition is off-set by the loss of key players in Aaron Seen, Nick Gill and Sam Payne. How City go about this season will be fascinating, with the expected continued improvement from their younger players. Expect big seasons from the likes of Conor Haswell, Jackson Crawford and Aidan Watling, The Blues will no doubt be in contention to reach their annual goal, the Grand Final.

Warners Bay has lost utility Ben Kernahan and youngster Rob Schindler-Taylor, but they Bulldogs played reasonable football in the back half of last year after an interrupted pre-season and they will look toward a spot in the Top 7. Young ruckman Tom McDonell will be keen for a massive year one year after playing for the Sydney Swans academy. The return of Jack Hardman is a huge boost for the faithful at Feighan Oval, with real belief that a deep Finals run is within their grasp. Killarney Vale showed enough last year, in patches, that they are definite Top 7 material this year if they can get their best 22 on the paddock each week. The loss of Ryan Barrett will hurt them however a fit Josh Mifsud and the return of Brendan Lewis will be a bonus. Scott Reed and Tim Oosterhoff will be other key players.

Maitland face similar challenges to Nelson Bay as they commence Black Diamond Cup football at the upgraded Max McMahon Oval. The loss of Ben Stewart, Todd Sheldon, Jim Taranto and Wade Beard presents a huge hurdle for the Saints, however will provide great opportunities for their younger players. Coach David Ross will be hoping for a quick recovery from a bad quad injury for star League representative forward Patrick McMahon.

The outstanding Andrew Scott has taken over the coach’s clipboard for the Singleton Roosters, who are after a Top 7 berth after two terrific seasons Black Diamond Plate in 2016 and 2017. Scott welcomes back star backman Sam Brasington after a year in Sale and will look to midfielders, 2016
Granland Medallist Alex Mitchell and Andrew MacPherson to lead the way at Rose Point Park. The club has also been active in recruitment which will have everyone watching the Roosters early season form.

Wyong Lakes will be returning to the Black Diamond Cup scene for the first time since 2011 and the Magpies appear to be well placed. They will rely on experienced players Chris Koop-Folkes, Justin McPhan, Lee Moore and Tim Hillman to lead the way for youngsters such as Brayden Tos, Tyler Wood and Carter Jones.

Former junior Josh Barty has taken the coaching reins at Gosford and there is a positive feel around the club as they enter the challenge of a Black Diamond Cup return. The club has seen a number of other former juniors return to the club whilst on the other end of the scale veteran forward Tim Eather will once again pull on the Tigers guernsey. Pat Murphy, Alex Remy and Scott Burkinshaw were their keys last year and they will again be required to lead the way in 2018.

Lake Macquarie will be looking to their exciting band of youngsters to lead them back into the Black Diamond Cup. Damon Tually, Sam Wellard, Rory Sleeth, Jakson Bertoli and Riley Janissen have all had big pre-seasons and looking forward to playing in the Premier competition.