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Coast in fine form as season begins

A strong preseason offensive from Hibiscus Coast AFC’s 1st XI sees them in fine form as they head into their NRFL division one league opening game against Mt Albert Ponsonby AFC on Friday.

Coast took out the Northern Football Federation’s Joma Men’s Northern Preseason Tournament, trouncing division one rivals Waitemata 4-1 in the final on Saturday.

The team beat division two teams Takapuna 2-1 and Albany 3-2, and drew with premier side Glenfield 3-3 to claim their pool on points difference to face Waitemata in the final.

Preseason friendly games with higher ranked premier sides also saw Coast taking down Forest Hill and drawing and losing in two games against Albany’s top premier side.

Coast head coach Mauricio Rojas says he and the team took the loss to Albany on the chin, but the game was abandoned halfway through, with Coast just one point down, due to the lights on the field they were playing not coming on.

The new top team coach says the preseason tournament win is a positive start to the season, showing the team was on track in the areas of fitness, organisation and tactical and technical levels, and also with mental resilience and focus training.

He says the club has a very good group of players this season who have come through on the discipline, commitment and hard work he’s asked for this year.

“For me if I have got it from players we will improve,” he says.

But with a whole season ahead the successes to date are just a small proof that the team is on track, Rojas says.

“It is not that I don’t celebrate victories, but this is just one step on the big track to the big goal that we want to achieve this season. To get promotion.”

Coast kick off their NRFL season against Mt Albert Ponsonby at 7pm on Friday away at Anderson Park.

Story repoduced courtesy www.stuff.co.nz and can also be viewed here.