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Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 7, 2004
AFL Club
The 2021 season is about to start, April 24. with eight senior teams and six women's.
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Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 7, 2004
AFL Club
The AFL North Coast Senior Competition is set for a third consecutive year of expansion with the Lismore Swans and Casino Lions opting to join the League from the 2021 season.

The addition of these two clubs comes hot on the heels of the Northern Beaches Blues returning to the fold two seasons ago, and Nambucca Valley Lions re-joining this season. Lismore and Casino entering the League brings the overall number of clubs to eight in what will be one of the biggest and best seasons of local footy in 2021.

The Lismore Swans formed in 2001 from a merger of the Goonellabah Swans and Lismore Kangaroos, with both of these clubs being founding members of the Summerland League back in 1984. The Swans have competed in their various guises in the Summerland/Northern Rivers competition every year since 1984 but club President Laura Cahill says the time is right to make the move south.

“The movement to a NSW based league will give us the scope to engage with players in our broader regional area, and allow us to participate in a competition that’s better suited to our vision and values at this point in time.

“The Lismore Swans are looking forward to the opportunity to participate in the AFL North Coast competition. We are really excited about developing some new healthy rivalries with the existing North Coast teams.”

The Casino Lions are re-forming for the 2021 season, having last taken to the park in the 2017 season. Casino President Ben Hunt said there was a lot of excitement around the town about the club’s return.

“We’ve decided to return to the competition after a long time away based on a groundswell of support from local players and businesses. We’re looking to rebuild a club with a very prestigious history and return to AFL glory in the coming years.

“The vibe around the club and the players is exciting being able to compete again after such a long time away from the competition. It’s great being part of a very diverse competition and being able to grow AFL in the area.”

Nambucca Valley Lions have indicated that they’re comfortable with a second club with the Lions nickname entering the competition. Both playing uniforms will be markedly different to avoid any clashes.

Paul Taylor, Community Football Manager for AFL North Coast, welcomed the new clubs and said that the local competition is in an extremely positive growth phase.

“It’s incredibly exciting to have two new clubs joining the competition in 2021 and we can’t wait to see them in action. This will mean that our Senior Competition has doubled in size in just three years, which is a fantastic reflection of the hard work of all involved in the competition and comes off the back of five years of growth in Junior footy.

“The collaborative approach adopted by our clubs during this time has been a key factor in the growth as its encouraged others to take the punt.

“The inclusion of Lismore and Casino extends what was already a big region and creates additional challenges, but the existing clubs were keen to see them join and have indicated that they’ll look at innovative solutions to overcome the challenge of travel. With the way that clubs have worked together in recent times I have no doubt they’ll pass the challenge with flying colours.”

In addition to the new clubs joining the fold in 2021 the signs are already positive for growth in team numbers in all grades of the Senior Competition based on the interest being fielded by all clubs. The AFL North Coast 2021 season gets underway in April


Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 7, 2004
AFL Club
Blues exceed expectations with winning streak
Author Name: bradgreenshields | Posted 9:42 am on Monday 7th June, 2021

Photo: Green Shoots Marketing
IF you told Northern Beaches coach Rory Evans early this year that his team would have suffered only one loss by the halfway stage of the season, he would never have believed you.

But after the Blues ran away from Port Macquarie in the second half on Saturday to win by 64 points, that’s exactly the position the Northern Beaches outfit finds itself.

The Blues have now recorded four straight wins and sit in second position and building.

Saturday’s encounter at Centennial Oval was the first time this season Northern Beaches passed the 100-mark on the scoreboard with the Duryea brothers, Fraser and Evan, kicking nine of the team’s 15 goals with five and four respectively.

Evans admits the position the Blues are now in has come as a pleasant surprise.

“Unexpected a little bit if I’m being honest. Not because of who we’ve got and the way we play but I just thought it would take a little bit longer to get our game plan worked out with the new group,” Evans said.

Port Macquarie was noticably fatigued in the final term when the Blues kicked six goals to one with a bit of a breeze at their back to stretch the final margin.

Magpies coach Matt Clarke said being tired late is no sign that his young team lacks fitness.

“We only had one on the bench. Within the first five minutes three of our guys were injured,” Clarke explained.

“We knew it was going to be a tough slog from there but we’re a fit side, they (Northern Beaches) are an older side so we knew we would probably be neck and neck fitness wise even though we had limited rotations.”

NORTHERN BEACHES 2.4 7.5 9.8 15.14 (104)
PORT MACQUARIE 2.1 3.2 5.2 6.4 (40)

Goals – NB: F.Duryea 5, E.Duryea 4, M.Huthnance, D.Pearce, L.Paige, M.Davey, L.Symons, B.Petrolo. Port: M.Bylsma 2, J.Schmidt, B.Saggers, J.Hall, K.Taylor.
Reserves: Northern Beaches 9.4 (58) def Port Macquarie 5.7 (37)

Sawtell/Toormina exacted some revenge on Grafton in a replay of last year’s grand final.

This time the Saints turned the tables by kicking nine goals to three in the second half after a closely fought first half.

Sawtell/Toormina playing coach Brandt Lee said he wasn’t surprised it took his team a half of football before they put their foot down.

“Over the last couple of weeks we haven’t had our strongest team together and I think in the first half we were getting used to playing together again and just trying to gel together,” Lee said.

“With everyone being back for the first time in a couple of weeks it probably just took us a while to kick back into gear. Once we did I think we started to play our best football.”

Captain Matt Dwyer was a rock at full back for the Saints while Angus Anderson showed his recent nab League experience playing for the Sysney Swans Academy had served him well.

Lee said the young players in the team again drove Sawtell/Toormina toward victory.

“The young guys step up for us every week. Even though we’ve got experienced leaders like Luke Matthews back in the team now, it’s the young guys like Tyler Donovan, Ronan Singleton and Luke Neal who are impressive,” the coach said.

“Those younger guys, when they play well, we know we’re going to be in for a good win.”

SAWTELL/TOORMINA 3.2 6.4 10.7 15.9 (99)
GRAFTON 4.1 5.5 6.8 8.10 (58)

Goals – Saw: C.Perks 4, R.Singleton 3, A.Anderson 3, A.Pyke, T.Perks, L.Matthews, K.Upsall, H.Anderson. Graf: T.Churchin 3, D.Perich 2, N.Swarski, A.Ashby, N.O’Neill.
Reserves: Sawtell/Toormina 15.8 (98) def Grafton 1.2 (8)
Under-17s: Grafton 15.15 (105) def Sawtell/Toormina 6.7 (43)

The Lismore Swans jumped out of the blocks quickly at Nambucca Heads to have the four points sewn up by the main break.

Kubilay Karhan and Andrew Baker both kicked four goals in the 39-point win over Nambucca Valley. Aaron Clarke kicked three goals for the Lions.

Lismore coach Ashley Pritchard said the fast start was something he’d been waiting all season for.

“It was really pleasing because we’ve been starting sluggishly all season. Even at training we start slowly until we think this isn’t what we’re about and we pick it up after that,” Pritchard said.

“So we started well but then we did the same thing in the third quarter that we normally do in the first quarter and we let Nambucca kick four straight goals. It’s something we still need to work on because we just can’t afford to have those lapses or it will cost us at some stage down the road.”

NAMBUCCA VALLEY 0.2 1.3 5.3 8.3 (51)
LISMORE SWANS 5.2 8.3 10.4 14.6 (90)

Goals – Lis: K.Karhan 4, A.Baker 4, M.Schafer 2, T.Whalan, S.Coates, T.Mowbray, O.Paterson. N.V: A.Clarke 3, M.Townsend, R.McGrath, J.Hare, S.Lhuede, A.Boatfield.

The Coffs Breakers won easily against an undermanned Casino to remain undefeated and on top of the AFL North Coast ladder.

The Breakers led by 100 points at half time and finished the contest with 16 different goal kickers but Casino never threw in the towel in the face of a scoring avalanche.

Nicklaus Stanlan-Velt led the goal kicking for the victors with six goals. An amount that could’ve been even greater if Stanlan-Velt didn’t don a Casino jumper for the third quarter to help even up the onfield numbers.

The Lions were without their coach on the sidelines and were probably eight players short of their best 22 and deserved a goal for their efforts but couldn’t quite produce one from their six scoring shots.

Breakers captain Liam Beacom was in charge of the magnet board on Saturday with coach Kevin Wilson absent and the skipper said the team were concerned about making sure they improved ahead of the second half of the season.

“We had a talk with Kevin on Thursday and decided to use the game more as practice than anything so we can start doing the things we want to going forward into the season,” Beacom said.

“We haven’t been 100 per cent happy with how we have been playing and there’s been a couple of games where we’ve fallen behind before we knuckled down and managed to get the win. We’d prefer to be playing better than that so we concentrated on Saturday on playing the style of football we want. We didn’t worry too much about the scoreboard.”

COFFS BREAKERS 24.21 (165) def CASINO LIONS 0.6 (6)
Goals – Breakers: N.Stanlan-Velt 6, D.Cook 2, D.Walls 2, H.Cekanauskas 2, B.Walker, C.Pellegrino, J.Lansdowne, J.Sincock, L.Beacom, F.Antonysamburuma, B.Neary, J.Hayes, W.Chadwick, D.Homan, A.Wallace, C.Dickson. Lions: Nil.
Under-17s: Coffs Breakers 28.23 (191) def Inverell Saints 1.4 (10)


Michael McMahon of the Coffs Breakers gets a handball away despite being tackled by a Casino Lions opponents. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing
Coffs Breakers7700100795366217.21
Northern Beaches641175.00457307148.86
Lismore Swans750271.43872396220.20
Port Macquarie730442.86615562109.43
Nambucca Valley710614.2923068033.82
Casino Lions70070.00169113914.84


Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 7, 2004
AFL Club
Hot run continues for Saints
Author Name: bradgreenshields | Posted 5:14 pm on Tuesday 3rd August, 2021

Sawtell/Toormina's Angus Anderson gains possession ahead of Lismore Swans midfielder Tim Whalan during Saturday's AFL North Coast match. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing
Sawtell/Toormina has moved up to second position on the ladder after recording its sixth consecutive victory.

The Saints led from go to whoa against the Lismore Swans although they were challenged before drawing away in the last quarter.

The home team used the spaces available at Richardson Park very well with the pace of Sawtell’s younger brigade coming to the fore, particularly in the last term when they kicked four unanswered goals to turn what was just an eight-point lead at three-quarter time into a 34-point win.

Playing coach Brandt Lee said being able to run out games is vital for any team that has their eyes looking towards the finals. He said it was a key to the success against Lismore.

“Playing on a bigger field, the younger guys being fit and being able to run,” Lee said.

“That’s the sort of game plan that we set ourselves, to be able to create space that way because we know playing finals on the Stadium it’s a big ground so we’ve got to prepare for finals and playing on a ground that size.

“We’ve got an advantage having our home ground being pretty large as well.”

Moving into second position on the ladder, Lee reflected on a first half of the season that left many local pundits questioning their bona fides as a premiership contender.

“I guess everyone was sort of writing us off after the first half of the season and after we had those couple of suicide weeks down in Port and up in Lismore,” he said.

“We were just fighting for a finals spot after that but six in a row now puts us in second so anything is possible from here.”

The Swans will need three things to happen this Saturday if they’re to sneak into the double chance position. Firstly they need to take care of business at home against Nambucca Valley. But the Swans need two other results to go their way – Grafton to beat the Saints and Port Macquarie to beat Northern Beaches.

SAWTELL/TOORMINA 4.1 6.7 7.8 11.12 (78)
LISMORE SWANS 1.3 3.3 6.6 6.8 (44)

Goals – Saw: L.Matthews 2, J.Perks 2, B.Cox 2, W.Lloyd, S.Botma, L.Neal, D.Matthews, D.Pritchard. Lis: A.Baker 2, T.Whalan, M.Schafer, L.Foenander, B.Fox.
Under-17s: Sawtell/Toormina 17.7 (109) def Glen Innes 5.8 (38)


Sawtell/Toormina’s Brandon Cox gets a centre clearance for the Saints against the Lismore Swans. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing
PORT Macquarie’s hopes of securing a finals berth are very much alive after an impressive win over the ladder leading Coffs Breakers.

The Magpies burst out of the blocks in their must-win match and built up a five goal lead by the first break which was stretched to 41-points at half time.

Braden Saggers and Royce Close were contant threats in the attacking 50-metre arc and Saggers finished the day with seven majors while Close looked silky smooth as usual booting four.

PORT MACQUARIE 6.2 9.7 14.8 17.10 (112)
COFFS BREAKERS 1.2 3.2 6.3 9.6 (60)

Goals – Port: B.Saggers 7, R.Close 4, T.Dickson 3, A.Pratt, J.Hall, W.Kelly. Coffs: A.Wallace 3, M.McMahon 2, N.Stanlan-Velt 2, A.Wood, J.Guthrie.
Reserves: Coffs Breakers 7.7 (49) def Port Macquarie 1.9 (15)
Under-17s (at Tamworth): Coffs Breakers 12.15 (87) def Tamworth Roosters 9.6 (60)

GRAFTON almost paid the price for a lacklustre second half against Nambucca Valley.

The Lions arrived at Ellem Oval with 15 players on the team sheet and Grafton made the sporting gesture of playing even numbers on the field to ensure a competitive contest.

After an inaccurate first quarter the Tigers played a strong second term with Sam Morrison being particularly dangerous to help Grafton build a 31-point lead.

The script flipped after the main break though with Nambucca Valley fighting back to reduce the lead to just two goals at the final break.

Experienced talls Jim Angel and Aaron Clarke were proving a thorn in Grafton’s side and the Lions almost pulled off a comeback victory but fell just three points short.

GRAFTON 1.6 5.8 6.9 8.10 (58)
NAMBUCCA VALLEY 0.0 1.1 5.3 8.7 (55)

Goals – Graf: S.Morrison 3, C.O’Neill 2, N.Swarski, M.Luxton, J.Boehme. N.V: J.Angel 3, A.Clarke 2, M.Townsend, R.McGrath, A.Baldwin.

HAVING lost three of their past four matches heading into Saturday, it was important for Northern Beaches to get back in the winning groove.

The Blues did so in emphatic fashion with a large win over an undermanned Casino Lions.

Danniel Johnson had a big day in front of goal kicking eight goals as did full forward Evan Duryea who has hit a purple patch of form with 15 goals in his last two matches.

The Blues may have had plenty of practice in front of goal but credit to Casino and their 15 players as they never threw in the towel.

While a 190-point victory isn’t the tough encounter coaches are looking for with finals on the horizon, Northern Beaches coach Rory Evans said there were good things that came from it.

“It was good for a couple of players to get back on the park, additionally it was good for a couple of others to have a week off,” Evans said.

“The game itself was a positive. We were able to execute really well, albeit under less pressure than normal but the players stayed positive throughout the match and we managed to get through unscathed.”

With that win under their belt, the Blues now face a virtual elimination final this Saturday against Port Macquarie. The match at Wayne Richards Park will see all of the chips on the table as the loser of the contest won’t be playing in the finals a week later.

NORTHERN BEACHES 8.4 16.11 21.17 29.22 (196)
CASINO LIONS 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 (6)

Goals – N.B: D.Johnson 8, E.Duryea 8, D.Pearce 4, C.Frangos 2, J.Berryman 2, C.McPherson, A.Woodbridge, J.Horrocks, S.Burow, F.Thompson. Cas: L.Fitzpatrick.
Reserves: Northern Beaches 10.5 (65) def Grafton 8.1 (49)

Coffs Breakers131102441373741185.29
Northern Beaches13814341089655166.26
Lismore Swans13805321321785168.28
Port Macquarie13805321226847144.75
Nambucca Valley1320118590109353.98
Casino Lions1300130298214313.91


Andrew Baker of the Lismore Swans heads toward goal against Sawtell/Toormina. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing
52 Andrew Baker (Lismore Swans)
36 Evan Duryea (Northern Beaches)
36 Tim Churchin (Grafton)
28 Braden Saggers (Port Macquarie)
28 Fraser Duryea (Northern Beaches)
22 Jay Guthrie (Coffs Breakers)
21 Matt Schafer (Lismore Swans)
20 Michael McMahon (Coffs Breakers)
18 Aaron Clarke (Nambucca Valley)
18 Tom Dickson (Port Macquarie)
17 Nick Stanlan-Velt (Coffs Breakers)

ROUND 14 – Saturday, August 7
(1.00pm – Seniors)
PORT MACQUARIE vs NORTHERN BEACHES at Wayne Richards Park, Port Macquarie
(11.50am – Women; 1.20pm – Reserves; 2.50pm – Seniors)
GRAFTON vs SAWTELL/TOORMINA at Ellem Oval, Grafton
(10am – Under-17s; 11.50am – Women; 1.20pm – Reserves; 2.50pm – Seniors)
CASINO LIONS vs COFFS BREAKERS at Queen Elizabeth II Park, Casino
(2.50pm – Seniors)


Lismore Swans captain Eoghan McNutt boots his team into attack against Sawtell/Toormina. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing
LThrilling last round in Juniors sets scene for Finals


Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 7, 2004
AFL Club
The 2022 draw is finally out.
Six senior men teams this year. Casino and Nambucca Valley demoted to reserve grade.
Seven reserve grade, Lismore not fielding a reserve grade team.
Six womens teams again this year.

Late Ed: Lismore withdrew because they were flooded twice in a month and there is too much to do than play footy.
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Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 7, 2004
AFL Club
For season 2023, Bryon Bay have joined the AFL North Coast.

The Magpies will be the fifth club to join AFL North Coast’s senior ranks in five seasons, following the addition of the Northern Beaches Blues in 2019, Nambucca Valley Lions in 2020, and Lismore Swans and Casino Lions in 2021.

Seven senior mens competition and nine reserve grade roster. (Casino and Nambucca Valley field reserve grade only.)

Seven senior womens competition.


Byron to Port Macquarie = 392 km
Byron to Nambucca Heads = 279 km
Byron to Sawtell = 242 km
Byron to Coffs Harbour = 233 km
Byron to Woolgoolga = 206 km
Byron to Grafton = 163 km
Byron to Casino = 76 km
Byron to Lismore = 46 km
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