Raymond Terrace Soccer Club has a big month ahead as it prepares to play in as well as host the Newcastle Football finals.
For the second year, the Terrace club will host about 600 footballers at King Park for the inter district finals which will begin on the night of Friday, August 30 and run across the September 1 and 2 weekend.
“Hosting the finals allows us to showcase the amenities we have here in Port Stephens,” club president Peter Petryk said.
“It also shows we can take on that responsibility, and how we’ve grown as a club.”
In what is believed to be a club first, all three of the Terrace’s zone league teams –firsts, reserves and thirds – are sitting in the top three of their competitions.
The Rangers, Raymond Terrace’s first grade team and 2017 premiers, are expecting to win a fifth grand-final in a row and move up into the zone premier league.
“The club’s ready,” first grade coach Matt Catford said. “We’ve always been strong in first grade but it’s the first time we’ve been as strong as we are in all grades.”
If promoted, all three teams would move up.
First grade are sitting at the top of their table with just three losses and a draw. The side missed out on the minor premiership on Saturday with a 2-1 loss to second placed Cooks Hill.
Reserves have struggled with losses in the last three weeks but remain third on their ladder.
The Terrace’s third grade side is one point ahead University to sit at the top of its table.
Coach Chris McCabe said he is confident his side will make the finals, which would be a first for the club.
“It’s the first time thirds have been at the top of the table. Traditionally this team has struggled,” he said. “We’ve got a really strong team of teenagers, and a lot of them are Terrace juniors.”
It is not only the club’s top grade teams doing well this season. The under-13 mixed team are well ahead of their rivals on the ladder and are guaranteed a finals position.
The all age women’s G-grade team is also sitting in second spot and heading for finals once again.
The zone teams will wrap up their season at home on August 18 against University, which will double as the club’s old boys day.
Petryk said last year’s old boys day, as part of the club’s 60th anniversary celebrations, saw a big turn out. He hoped similar number will turn out again this year.
“It was great to see all the old boys come down and get behind the guys and the club last year,” he said. “We’d love to see everyone come down again this year.”
Third grade will kick off the old boys day at 11am. Reserves play at 12.45pm and first grade at 2.30pm.