25 March 2015
FOOTBALL season begins for two Eastern Bay teams on Saturday.
Kawerau and Whakatane will compete in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty championship division.
Kawerau were undefeated last year, blazing through the Bay first division to lift the title.
The revamped competition structure will have a premier division, the championship as well as separate Waikato and Bay competitions.
There will be just one Bay competition this season, which includes Plains Rangers and Whakatane and Kawerau B teams, which kicks off on April 11.
Whakatane had a mixed season, which at times, showed promise as they finished in fourth place, just one out of the top three.
What is surely not a chance of scheduling, the two will meet in the season opener at Rex Morpeth Park.
The previous meeting between the two sides was with four rounds remaining last year and it was Kawerau’s 3-1 win at Tarawera Park that clinched the title.
After lifting the title, Kawerau coach Jonathan Carter labelled it a special win, which gave Kawerau an unassailable 10-point lead. Kawerau utterly dominated a season in which they scored 74 goals and conceded just 23.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Football are taking action to help prevent injury this season.
According to the New Zealand Football website, football injuries take thousands of players away from the game while costing the country around $25 million a year.
They have promised to tackle the issue with a nationwide rollout of the Fifa 11-plus injury prevention programme in partnership with the ACC.
Headed by New Zealand Football medical director, Dr Mark Fulcher, the programme centres on a warm-up, which reduces the risk of injury in football.
The warm-up is a combination of running, balancing and strengthening exercises which has been rolled out in all New Zealand Football high performance programmes, national talent centres, federation talent centres and coaching courses – some of which include Eastern Bay players.
Fulcher said on the website the football specific warm-up has a firm footing when you look at the science behind its development.
“It’s a 20-minute warm-up designed to be done in place of a more standard warm-up and if we can do this twice a week we can reduce the risk of injury significantly,” Fulcher said.
“It really is a no-brainer, the programme has been studied extremely well and we know by using the warm-up we can reduce the risk of severe injury by 50 percent and reduce the risk of all injury by 30 percent.
The closest workshop to the Eastern Bay will be at Tauranga on March 30.
Source: Whakatane Beacon