Newest local derby: Ripley to tackle Springfield
HAVING played and coached in many local derbies over the years, Nick Paterson hopes a new duel kicking off on Saturday night generates plenty of excitement in the future.
Newly-formed Ripley Valley FC tackle Springfield United at Woodcrest College in what could be the start of some Capital League 3 or higher level derbies in coming seasons - much like the Ipswich Knights, Western Spirit and the Ipswich City Bulls have contested over the past two decades.
"Hopefully it will become that big one for us in years to come,'' Paterson said, having been involved with the Knights, Spirit and Bulls over many years previously.
"You have to start somewhere.''
Coming off a bye and with Ripley Valley still signing new players, Paterson wasn't expecting a win on Saturday against more established opponents.
"We've had up to 10 players out each week,'' he said, reflecting on Ripley's one win from three games.
"They (Springfield) are going really well.
"They're a settled side and they have had a big pre-season. The coaches have them ticking along nicely.''
Among Ripley Valley players missing this week are regular scorer Maurico Arena.
However, Paterson hopes tonight's 6.30pm derby provides a foundation for future exciting games.
"We've always said we'll be a different team come second round this year,'' he said.
"It will probably take a while to find our feet and get the personnel on board that we've been searching for since we started.''
In this weekend's Capital League 1 match in Ipswich, the Bulls welcome back their leading goal scorer Dane Grant.
However, key players Ronan Geoghegan and Michael Ward will miss Saturday's game at Sutton Park.
Former Western Spirit speedster Phil Brown joins the first-team squad.
"If we can get the three points this weekend, I'll be reasonably pleased with how we're going after five rounds,'' Bulls head coach Norbert Duga said.
Duga said playing at home was always a boost for his players.
"We get good crowds and they love supporting the team,'' he said. "I know the guys appreciate it very much.''
The main Bulls v Samford match kicks off at 5.15pm.
Western Spirit travel to St George's Park for Sunday night's Capital League 1 clash.