Bumblebees challenge rivals Nelson Bay on Old Boys Sponsor Day at Yulong Oval

The Medowie FC Reserve Grade team requires a win over Zone Football League Div 2 competition leaders Nelson Bay to qualify for the finals.

WHEN it comes to local sporting derbies they don’t come more competitive than the Medowie Bumblebees and Nelson Bay Marlins Football Clubs.

Both organisations share a proud history in the Newcastle Football Association and the action should be intense when they square off this Saturday at the Bumblebees Old Boys and Sponsor Day at Yulong Oval.

The program kicks-off at 12.45pm when the Medowie boys chase a vital victory over minor premiers Nelson Bay in the Zone Football League Division 2 Reserve Grade competition.

It is a must-win scenario for the Bumblebees to snatch a top five spot before the first grade fixture between the traditional rivals at 2pm.

Medowie FC Head Coach and club legend Matt Morris told News Of The Area that the club’s reserve grade side “have worked hard all season to secure a finals berth”. 

“Injuries and unavailabilities have dented our chances but there is a good mix of talent and experience in the line-up that were beaten 3-0 by second placed Cooks Hill United last weekend,” the soccer stalwart revealed.

“Assistant Coach Nathaniel Chauncy has done a great job to get the side into finals contention,” he added.

Medowie FC’s major sponsor, the Bull ‘N Bush Hotel, will set up a bar at the ground on the day for refreshments.

The Medowie reserve grade side have turned in superb defensive efforts led by goalkeeper Connor Walker, fullback/left winger Shane Bowe, centre fullbacks David Bowden and Ellis Reynolds and right back Kye Radcliffe.

Other players to shine in both first and reserve grade include club captain Luke Halicek, Matt Morris and son Tyson, Riley Blunt, Simon Page, Gabriel Diaz-Alonso, Campbell Reynolds, Rafael Diaz-Alonso, Morgan Reynolds, Roan Panther, Mark Oliver, Patrick Davies, Liam Salerno, Jonty Cracroft-Wilson, Ty Dickson, Aaron Bray, Mason Salerno, David Lester, Jack Grant, Josua Pekolj, Ben Turner, Bryn Fairman, Jayden Thomas, Adam Humble and Michael Carter.

A tireless player-coach for the Bumblebees, the evergreen Morris continues to inspire the local football community with his development work and ability to motivate.

The former National Premier League star centre midfielder – who enjoyed stints with Hamilton Olympic, Adamstown Rosebuds and South Cardiff – is doing impressive work as a mentor with the club’s seniors and Junior brigades.

Medowie’s talented Under 12 Div 1, Under 14 Div 1 and Under 15 Div 1 squads have qualified for the finals along with the Over 35s team of which Matt is a key member.

In recognition for his sterling efforts both on and off the field, the respected Morris was named the Northern NSW Football Coach of the Month for August.

This Saturday shapes as a busy day in the Morris household with Matt’s wife Ebony – the Bumblebees’ Assistant Secretary – keeping an eye on her husband’s classy Under 15 Div 1 side that includes son Kayden as goalkeeper in the first week of the finals as well as eldest son Tyson, a smart midfielder for Medowie in the reserve grade fixture.

To keep things interesting, Matt will line up for the Over 35s in a finals clash with Toronto Stags.


By Chris KARAS

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