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Clubs ready for cup campaign

Cobram Victory and Shepparton South will be looking for winning starts when their Dockerty Cup campaigns get underway at the start of next month.

DAMEN FRANCIS February 13, 2014 4:25am

Knockout cup king Cobram Victory and emerging power Shepparton South will represent Goulburn North East Football Association in this year’s Dockerty Cup.

Formerly known as the State Knockout Cup, the Football Federation Victoria-run competition’s original name has been restored this season, with the draw for rounds one and two held last Saturday.

The Victory was drawn at home and will open its campaign against State League division-five club Old Xaverians, while the Southerners drew State League division-four side Fawkner.

Both fixtures are tentatively booked for March 1.

Victory president Tony Startari said the club was due to touch base with the Ducks this week to confirm a venue, which is expected to be Barooga Recreation Reserve.

If its home ground is unavailable, the Victory could look to play the match in Shepparton.

The cup clash will be new playing coach Louis Clark’s first competitive assignment.

Clark is expected to arrive from England in the next week.

Shepparton South was drawn as the away team, but the club has been in talks with its opponent and the unavailability of Fawkner’s CB Smith Reserve means the match could be transferred to Shepparton.

The cup has a special place in the heart of new Southerners striker Craig Carley.

Under Carley’s guidance, the Victory reached the final six in 2012 and twice won the Regional Challenge Trophy.

Carley joined South this season and will out to achieve similar success with his new team.

Southerners coach Reno Lia said the cup campaign would be part of the club’s bumper pre-season campaign and, potentially, a greater number of games than what is on offer in the local Regional Premier League.

‘‘We wanted to get the most competitive games we could, especially considering the RPL is only going to be a 12-week competition,’’ Lia said.

‘‘We have a game scheduled against a team from Albury on the Saturday, so we’re hoping we can get them up here for a double header or arrange to play them on the Sunday, so we can get a look at our second side.’’

The Southerners have four matches in two weeks, starting with the away leg of a home-and-away tie with Albury City on Sunday, with South Melbourne in town the following Sunday.

Shepparton United president Mark Georgiou and Cobram president John Ventre said they had intended to enter the competition, but missed the cut-off date.

Shepparton president Tom Radevski said with playing coach Michael Charles still to arrive from England, the Reds would not be organised in time and the focus was on the annual Macedonian Cup, hosted by Plenty Valley Lions, on March 22 and 23.

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