McGrath expects entertaining start to season
Footy Kings have some big boots to fill after replacing North Village, last season's league champions, in the Corona League.
With Village opting against defending their title this season, Footy Kings have stepped into the vacant position and will open their season against BAA next Saturday at 6pm.
Up first will be the Coronita Charity Shield between Robin Hood, last season's Corona Cup winners, and West End United at Goose Gosling Field tonight at 7pm.
Mike McGrath, the Corona League president, believes Hood, under new coach Martin Brown, and West End United will be among the title contenders this season and expects an entertaining curtain-raiser.
“I think Hood will probably be up there and West End are always competitive,” McGrath said.
“Having those two teams coming straight out of the box against each other in the Charity Cup should be entertaining.”
McGrath, who helped launch the Corona League seven years ago, said he was delighted to welcome Footy Kings to a league that has long shed its “pub football” tag.
“It's always nice to get new people in and it's a level that's about enjoyment as well as ability,” he added.
“It's disappointing Village won't be there for teams to try and beat. But looking at the teams out there, I think there will be plenty of challenges for teams to strive for.
“The league started off with people thinking of it as a pub league that wouldn't work, but we've had a lot of support from good people and it just keeps growing.”
In an effort to build more games into the Corona League season, organisers have introduced a Champions League-style format to the cup competition, which has been named after sponsors BTC.
“We wanted to get more games as everyone wants to play,” McGrath said at the official launch of the new season at Gosling's Wine Cellar yesterday.
“If a team is not successful in the first game, then it misses out on all of those weekends of football.
“This way all teams will at least get two games, the competition will still be competitive, and the cream will still rise to the top. If the Champions League can have group stages, why can't we.”
The Corona League season gets under way next Friday with Lock and Key against Vasco at 6.30pm and Tuff Dogs against Flanagan's Onions at 8.30pm.
The BTC Cup kicks off on the weekend of December 9 and January 20, with the knockout round beginning on March 17. The final will be held on April 21.
For more details visit the league's new website at www.bermudacl.com.