THE Coffs City United Lionesses have made a solid return to first grade football this year.
The Lionesses currently sit second on the ladder at the midway point of the Coastal League One Women season.
The Lionesses have stepped up to take on top competition after a dominant season in last year’s Women’s 2nd Division South competition, in which they finished undefeated minor premiers.
Coffs City United president Brett Hodgekiss said the side were enjoying their return to first grade football.
“The players have loved the return to first grade finding it both challenging and rewarding,” he said.
“Last season we won the 2nd division and with so much youth coming through the ranks, it was the natural progression in our quest to become one of the region’s top female clubs.”
He identified the main reason why they sit second on the ladder, as well as the biggest challenge of playing in the new league.
“The hunger and desire to grow the club back to the top in women’s football, and not just be there to make up the numbers,” he said.
“The biggest challenge has been playing at a high level and having to be consistent every week whilst adapting to a new squad with a mixture of last year’s 2nd grade players, new players and our Under 16 girls.
“We have players ranging from 15 to 38 years old.”
Lionesses captain Jordan Maddalena had a clear highlight of the season so far.
“Definitely the last game against Macleay Valley Rangers in Kempsey which we won 3-2, it was a very physical contest and both teams were so even,” she said.
The Lionesses take on the Macleay Valley Rangers this weekend in their return match at Forsyth Park.