FOOTBALL - DISTRICT LEAGUE
Berkeley Sports will ride the high of winning the Illawarra District League Fraternity Cup final when they begin the regular season this weekend.
As one of a number of District League contenders knocking on the door of promotion in recent years, Sports are aiming to replicate their early season form for a long, second-tier campaign.
Sports took down Shell Cove 6-3 in a high-scoring affair at Tarrawanna Oval to claim the season-opening crown, but head straight back to square one in the opening round against Corrimal Rangers.
"We knew it was going to be a 26-week season this year so we have been working since December. Winning the pre-season cup was a good reward for the boys working hard throughout that long preseason," Sports coach Jason Higgs said
"Our preseason has been based around 20 guys playing first grade with a solid bunch of youth and first graders.
"We played in the Cono Cup and a few other things, so we had a good back-up.
"Hopefully it is the right blend to get us there in the end."
Higgs will be relying on a squad much the same as last season when they missed out on a promotion play-off appearance.
"The club is growing, so the maturity of the younger boys who were there last year has really started to show and the guys that have been here a while still have that experience," Higgs said.
"We weren't going to go out there and blow money, we just stuck with what we have got."