Park tipped frontrunners after preseason honours

The domestic football season kicks off this Saturday.

Level One Queens Park host Laser Plumbing Gore Wanderers at Surrey Park at 12.30pm and Thistle FC host Southern Steel Windows Old Boys AFC at Turnbull Thompson at 3pm. Kowhai Roofing Waihopai have the bye for round one.

Queens Park lifted the preseason trophy with a 2-0 win over Thistle FC and I would put them as favourites to lift the Donald Gray based on that form. However, Gore are still an unknown and Thistle and Old Boys may still have players to add to their starting lineups, the latter being able to take their players from their Fletcher Cup squad when they play at home.

Winton lifted the Division One preseason trophy and will be difficult to beat in a league arguably a step below their capabilities.

I can’t help thinking it would have made for a much better premier league had Winton made the step up that they are definitely more than equipped to do so.

With Queens Park women moving to the Southern Women’s Football Championship, this should make for a fairly contestable Kolk Cup this season.

Thistle have signalled their intentions, taking out the preseason competition, so they will be the team to beat.

Cruickshank Pryde Lawyers Old Boys AFC started their Fletcher Cup campaign at the weekend with a credible 1-1 draw against former champions, Dunedin City Royals. Club president Nic Popham said it was "good to get a point on the road, the boys played well and will take confidence from the draw".

Old Boys entertain Grants Braes AFC this Saturday at Waverley Park, kicking off at 12.30pm.

In the SPL, Editors Cut Queens Park will look to build on their winning start to the season against Otago University AFC at the ILT Turf on Saturday.

A George Edwards brace gave Park a dream start to their campaign and they will look to follow that up against University this weekend. That game kicks off at 2.45pm.

Queens Park women did not have the same fortune in their inaugural Southern Women’s Football Championship match, losing 4-0 to a youthful Roslyn Wakari outfit. Leeann Duston’s side will aim to secure their first points as they entertain Northern AFC at the ILT Turf on Saturday, kick-off 12.30pm.

 - By Chris Montgomery