Valley?s hopes are riding on these men


MURWILLUMBAH Services and Kingscliff carry the hopes of the Valley when they line up in their Gold Coast First Division Soccer semi-finals today.

Murwillumbah has already secured the minor premiership and a promotion to premier league. Now Services take on second-placed Griffith University at Jim Devine Soccer Field, Murwillumbah (reserves 1pm; main game 3pm).

The winner books a spot in the grand final, while the loser takes on the victor of the minor semi-final clash.

Kingscliff, who finished third, could be that team, with the Wolves taking on the tough Beaudesert side in a sudden-death final just up the road at Reg Dalton Oval, Kingscliff at 2pm and 4pm this afternoon.

Both Valley teams would like nothing better than to play each other in the grand final at Carrara in two weeks time.

Murwillumbah will be without Matt Bruggy and Matt DeGroot - both with hamstring injuries - for the game against Uni.

"They beat us 3-0 last time we played," coach John Bruggy said.

"But everyone is focussed and motivated - training has been excellent this week."

The main game is part of a big day for Murwillumbah who have had an amazing year with their under-11s, 12s, 13s, 14s and 16s also in the finals race.

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From page 88

Ribot oversaw the introduction of the Broncos and Melbourne Storm to the National Rugby League competition and in between established Super League as a breakaway league in 1997.

He recalled being stunned after the Broncos only managed to half-fill the old Lang Park for their 44-10 thrashing of defending NSWRL prem- iers Manly. But even if the Roar falls short of breaking 20,000, the healthy crowd will be a far cry from the meagre 1000-3000 turnouts for Brisbane Strikers matches in the dying days of the National Soccer League.

But Ribot is confident they will get more than the Broncos did for their maiden match.

"We're certainly not the Broncos, but to come off a springboard like that would be a real credit to everybody.

"I've been very fortunate to be involved with new franchises on a number of occasions and I know that the sense of history associated with these events is definitely a factor.

"We actually had to turn people away when we started the Storm."

Remembering 42,000 supporters packed out Suncorp Stadium when the Strikers won the 1997 NSL grand final, Ribot said the challenge after tomorrow would be to entice fans back for more.

"It will be over to the show on the football field to put on good performances," he said.

"We want to win games but we also want to play attractive football and score a lot of goals."

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