Cono Cup kick-off will put teams to the test

Round one might be more than two months away, but football fans will get their first serious fix on the local front when the six-team Cono Cup kicks off at JJ Kelly Park tonight.

The three-day tournament will feature Illawarra Premier League outfits Coniston, Cringila and Tarrawanna as well as District League sides Shell Cove, Kemblawarra and Thirroul.

"We'll just be having some exhibition matches before the start of the season," Coniston secretary Mile Siljanovski said.

"We get first division clubs as well as Premier League to try to mix it up. Everyone needs a bit of a hitout so that's what it's all about.

"Every team wants to try out their youth graders and see what first graders they've got so it's a matter of seeing what each team has at the start of the year."

The fast-paced nature of the tournament won't be too dissimilar to the format employed in last weekend's Maso Cup, which featured Coniston, Cringila and local rivals Wollongong United.

NSW Premier League side Rockdale took out the Maso Cup for a second time with a 4-0 drubbing of Wollongong United in the final.

This evening's first match will feature an all-IPL clash between Coniston and Tarrawanna at 5.45pm.

And semi-finals will be played from 10am on Sunday with the final at 3.15pm.

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