Three clubs in Hamilton will kick off their LottoNRFL campaigns this weekend, with all hoping for a better season than last year's.

Hamilton Wanderers sit top of the three in the Lotto Premier League, but have struggled in the past two years to maintain that position.

A disappointing summer league season in which they finished last has done nothing to help ease the pressure on Hamilton's top club.

In the build-up to the winter season they have gone through two coaches, who have both left for greener pastures, and will now be led by Kale Herbert, son of former All Whites coach Ricki Herbert.


For the past two seasons in the LottoNRFL Wanderers have narrowly missed relegation and will need to build on the promising youth talent from last year's campaign to survive another campaign at the top level.

Melville United sits a division below their cross town rivals and will be disappointed that they are not lining up in the same division as them this year.

The summer break has allowed coaches Michael Mayne and Sam Wilkinson to continue to perfect their free-flowing football style with a dominant first half performance against Claudelands Rovers two weeks ago.

Melville has signed former Wanderer's midfielder Mark Jones who has slotted into their set up seamlessly and signalled their intention for another strong promotion push this season.

Claudelands Rovers sit bottom of the three teams in division two, but have new life in them under coaches Mark Cossey and Shane Comber.

The squad has been filled with young and experienced talent, including St Peter's High School football captain Owen Combers and veteran David Smith.

The two former Wanderers coaches were appointed last year and are looking for immediate promotion to division one with their new-look squad.

In the premier women's league the Wanderers story is much the same, as they look to avoid relegation again this season.
Coach Stephen Cox said the main goal is to survive in a league

"I'm confident we have brought some good players in. We've lost some good players who have gone north but we have got good replacements," Cox said.

"The league has been reduced to eight teams so it is going to be more difficult but we just have to come together and improve on last year."

Wanderers finished second to last in the league last year while their rivals Claudelands finished in the mid-table.