By TANYA PHILLIPS
THOSE long months of training are finally behind them and the Murwillumbah Hawks will take to the field today for their first Summerland Australian Football League game of the season.
The Summerland Rules will join the Gold Coast and District Rugby Union as the latest two winter sports to kick off.
The cricket bats are firmly back in moth balls with just about all of the winter sports back in full-swing after today.
Of the major Tweed and lower Gold Coast sports sides only the Coolangatta Blues and Palm Beach Currumbin Australian Rules teams are yet to start their campaigns with their seasons beginning next week.
This weekend the new-look Hawks under new coach David Tonks make the journey south-west to Lismore to take on the Lismore Swans at Mortimer Oval.
The Hawks completed the same journey last year and came away as victors - with Tonks and his young side hoping history will repeat.
At Goodwin Park the Coolangatta/Tweed Barbarians will meet Helensvale while up at Bienvenue Drive, Currumbin Waters the Palm Beach Currumbin Alleygators will take on Eagles. The Alleygators match kicks off the club's 25th anniversary celebrations and the day will also include a march-past and skydivers.