Two brand new community clubs will take to the field in 2018 Football Mid North Coast competitions with applications having been received and approved by the FMNC board.
Iona Football Club and Western Phoenix FC will take the total number of clubs in the zone to 31.
FMNC covers an area from Stuarts Point in the north , Bulahdelah in the south and Gloucester in the west.
FMNC chairman Mike Parsons said the expansion came as player numbers were on the rise.
“2017 saw over 7000 registered participants within our zone and the game is certainly in a healthy state,” Parsons said.
“We welcome Iona FC and Western Phoenix FC into our football family and look forward to seeing them on the park next season.
“Both clubs have dedicated people involved and are well placed to cater for new people looking to play.”
Football co-ordinator for Iona FC, Tony Judge, said the club would be focused on player development.
“We’ll be looking to provide a professional, friendly, encouraging learning environment particularly suited to helping junior players reach their full potential as footballers,” he said.
“We are very excited to be launching a new club and looking forward to next season.”
The club, which will wear maroon as its main colour, will be based at St Columba Anglican School with all training and FMNC matches to be on the school oval.
Western Phoenix FC will also be focused on junior development according to president Ben White.
“We are delighted to be the latest addition to the FMNC family.
“The Phoenix will aim to provide a professional development education program for all of our members, with a strong belief in promoting and supporting equality, community building, social interaction, football opportunities and confidence through quality assured, holistic practices as well as fun, positive experiences.”
The Phoenix home ground will be located at Charlie Watt Reserve in Telegraph Point and will see their players taking to the field in purple, black and gold colours next season.
FMNC club and referee development officer Justin McIntyre believed that both clubs will be a welcome addition to the zone.
He said: “Both the new ventures presented well to the FMNC board and their applications ticked off all the boxes required.
“They have a positive attitude towards the growth and development of our game and I’m sure will prove to be welcome additions to the zone and our wider community.”
Next season won’t see registrations open until the new year however anyone can get in contact with their local clubs via the Football Mid North Coast website – www.footballmidnorthcoast.com/club-contacts/