Our two second grade sides following a derby match in 2016.

Derbies no more! CSUFC welcomes major changes in 2nd grade ahead of 2017 season

With the 2017 football season rapidly approaching, CSUFC has seen some big changes. Potentially the largest of which is the decision to field just one second-grade men’s side this year.

It’s a move which could boost the club’s chances of adding to their most recent title in the division – which was acquired by second-grade white in 2015. Rather than separating the talent into two sides, a collaborative effort will see players old and new unite to play under one banner.

In previous years, the Bathurst District Football competition has boasted two CSUFC second grade sides, who have met each other on multiple occasions each season. Red and white met on four occasions last season – the most recent of which was a tense derby semi-final which was decided in extra time.

Although these derby matches will be missed by many, the change is an exciting new chapter in football at Charles Sturt University.

In previous years, our two second-grade sides often took to the pitch at the same time. These teams were often scheduled to play concurrently on opposite sides of Proctor Park, forcing fans to decide which team to support.

The move will allow fans to follow their family and friends matches without being forced to choose an allegiance between white and red.

In 2017, our sole second-grade side will be coached by Rhys Manners and Felix Croshaw, former white and red players respectively. A sharing of these duties will allow a blending of cultures, perspectives and ideas from both previous sides in the new united squad.

Both Manners and Croshaw have been keeping a close eye on the talent shown at the recent trial days and are hoping to be able to field a quality side in 2017.

Manners believes the change can be a real positive for the club.

“Whilst being a major change, it has been welcomed positively both by players, committee and coaches for various reasons. Including being able to provide the second-grade competition with a strong team that should maintain a steady and strong season of soccer.”

The CSUFC community will be impacted by this change in more ways than one.

Despite no longer having heated derby matches between two sides we know and love, all fans and players now have one second-grade side to unite behind ahead of the new season.

Charles Sturt University Football Club is truly together as one in 2017.

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