TAREE Wildcats will be on the road for the opening two weeks of the Coastal Premier League starting this Saturday.
The Wildcats are drawn to play the Coffs Harbour-based Northern Storm in Coffs Harbour this week before heading north again when they play Coffs City United.
Taree's first home game will be on July 18 against Port United.
Taree successfully made a late application to join the CPL to make the 10th club in the competition that takes in clubs from Football Mid North Coast and North Coast Football. Port Saints, Port United, Macleay Valley and Kempsey Saints are the other Football Mid North Coast representatives. The league will be played over 18 rounds, wtih the last on Saturday October 17.
However, CPL competition administrator Bruce Potter advised that due to scheduling constraints, the season will conclude with the team placed highest on the ladder after 18 rounds declared the winner.
"A final series will be held in 2021 when more time is available,'' Mr Potter explained.
Meanwhile the newly formed Zone Premier League (ZPL) will also kick off on Saturday. Five clubs, Tuncurry-Forster, Port United, Wingham, Wallis Lake and Camden Haven will contest this one grade competition.
Tuncurry-Forster, Wallis Lake and Camden Haven played in the Football Mid North Coast Premier League last year, where Wallis Lake won the premiership. Wingham won the FMNC Southern League while Port United played in the Northern League. Port United will also have a side in the Coastal Premier League.
Seven clubs originally nominated for the ZPL, however, Taree withdrew when the club was accepted into the Coastal Premier League. Football Mid North Coast chairman Mike Parsons informed that Wauchope has since pulled out, citing a lack of players.
Team numbers for the ZPL were only finalised earlier this week. Mr Parsons is confident about the future of the ZPL, saying that Lake Cathie, Port Saints and Wauchope have also expressed an interest to nominate teams for 2021.
Football Mid North Coast's senior and junior competitions all start this weekend.