Big start to the March kick-off

BONNYRIGG White Eagles, Sydney United 58 FC and Marconi Stallions are playing in the Football NSW Pre-Season Cup which started on Sunday.

The three National Premier Leagues NSW Mens 1 competition clubs are using the tournament to prepare for the official kick-off on Saturday, March 15.

Football NSW has also organised friendly matches for the under-16s, 18s and under-20s grades throughout the cup.

The cup is split into two pools and the grand final will be played on the weekend of March 8 and 9.

Football NSW media manager Mark Stavroulakis said the round-robin format with the highest-placed team in each of the two pools playing the decider.

Sydney Olympic are the defending pre-season cup champions. Eagles, United and Stallions all made the finals of the Football NSW competition.

Experienced coach Brian Brown steered the Eagles to a grand final win, while United under coach Mark Rudan won the premiership trophy.

The Stallions have a new coach this season, Darren Iocca, who was an assistant coach at the club for the past three years.

Brian Brown is coach again at the Eagles and Mark Rudan is preparing for his second season at United. United won last year's premiership and the Eagles were grand final victors.

In one pool are Bonnyrigg White Eagles, Blacktown Spartans, Marconi Stallions, South Coast Wolves, Sydney Olympic and Sydney United 58 FC.

In the other pool are APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Blacktown City FC, Manly United, Rockdale City Suns, Sutherland Sharks and St George FC.

Details: footballnsw.com.au.

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