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With 4 Local Derbys being played this weekend it should prove an interesting round

by Terry Wilson
Gold Coast Bulletin

FORMER Sydney Swans star Daryn Cresswell has been earmarked for a surprise comeback to the playing arena in a Gold Coast derby today.

At the age of 39 and now coach of Palm Beach-Currumbin, Cresswell was named in the centre for the Lions, who take on Surfers Paradise at Sir Bruce Small Park.

But the nuggety midfielder yesterday revealed he would play only if an unspecified player pulls out.

“I haven’t made a decision yet,” he said. “I’ll wait until I see what happens to one of our players.

“If he’s okay then I won’t play.”

Cresswell last played in 2010 with Western Suburbs in the Sydney competition after 244 games with the Sydney Swans from 1992 to 2003, assistant coaching stints with Geelong and Brisbane, coaching the Tassie Devils (VFL) and Manly Wolves (Sydney first division).

Word from PBC is that Cresswell is keen to play, is as fit as a fiddle, he trains with the players and regularly runs eight to 10 kilometres a day.

If Cresswell does play, the Lions will have three changes, replacing Jordan Bates, Jesse Brown and Bryce Dyer with Matt Carroll, Brad Hewatt and Cresswell.

Unimpressed by his side’s undisciplined showing against Mayne  the Demons fell by four points in the wet  Surfers coach Beau Zorko said that issue has been a key theme at training this week.

“But as I said last weekend, it was not just our actions towards umpires, it was also about  the way we went about our football,” Zorko said.

The Demons have two changes, replacing the injured Trent McIntyre (shoulder) and Regan Finlay (foot) with past club junior champion Brodie Haberfield and Dane Grant, who is playing on permit from NEAFL club Southport.

Grant is a Surfers junior product and Haberfield joins older brother Jesse in the red and blue.

Coolangatta have four changes for another Coast derby, this one against Burleigh under lights at Len Peak Oval today (6pm start).

The Blues named newcomers ruckman Rob Bibby (Labador), Ryan Bowers on permit from Broadbeach, Sandy Kirk (Wilston-Grange) and speedy Tiwi Islander Campbell  Wurramarrba from Darwin club Wanderers.

They replace Nathan Millard, Brett Parker, the unavailable Sam Fife and Brendan White.

Wurramarrba is a mate of new Blue Justin White, whom he played with at Port Douglas last year.

Burleigh omitted Brad Payne and under-18 Dean Martin and promoted ruckman-forward Matt Deidrich and Oliver Rennie.

“The way we finished last weekend I could probably have dropped eight or nine, but a lack of depth in our ranks means we can’t make wholesale changes,” said coach Zane Doublday.

The second round features what is shaping as a big Sunshine Coast derby between Maroochydore and Noosa at Fisherman’s Road.

A summer of busy recruiting, the ditching of the merger with Northshore and a sound financial situation have the Roos looking forward keenly to the battle with the 2010 and 2011 premiers.

Making it a huge day, president Craig Scrase said there will be four matches played on Saturday, in seniors, reserves, under-18s and in SEQAFL Division 4.

Asked if the Roos were ready to end several seasons of misery at the hands of their neighbours, Scrase said:

“I wouldn’t put all our eggs in the one basket. It’s a work in progress and we will take a few games to put it all together.

“But it is a big first-up challenge against Noosa. They have been the benchmark of the competition for the past few years and we’ve really enjoyed the challenges against them.

“Last year we pushed them to seven points and we always rise to the challenge this game presents.”

Additions to the Maroochy side include ruckman Jed Turner, who has returned to the club from Redland; Josh McPherson and Jarryd Hill from the Victorian TAC Cup; and Sam Panoho, from Aspley.

Panoho will be playing against older brother Todd, who switched from Aspley to Noosa last year, adding spice to the derby.

As buoyant as the mood is at Maroochydore, Scrase had a sobering message for the faithful.

“They still have 17 premiership players on their books,” he said in response to the Tigers losing several champions, including midfielder pair Luke Brauer and Lucas Matthews.

In another match, Sandgate host Western Magpies at Lemke Road.

Coming back from a hiding against Noosa in round one, Sandgate have jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire because this weekend they are playing Western Magpies, who were hugely impressive in their demolition of Springwood last weekend.

Even at home at Lemke Road, this is not going to be any easier than against the Tigers because the Magpies appear, on paper at least, to be even better than last season when they played finals.

Last night, Wilston-Grange hosted Mayne under the Sunlinc Oval (Hickey Park) lights. Check the results page for full details

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