|The Goodna Gladiators return to Evan Marginson Oval|
in a significant match against rivals Springfield.
IT WILL be a happy homecoming whatever the result when Goodna takes on Springfield at Evan Marginson Oval in the opening round of the Barber Cup tomorrow.
The match marks a return to the ground for the first time since the January 2011 floods, which resulted in Goodna dropping out of last season's competition.
If Goodna can beat its close neighbour it will be even sweeter, particularly for the Pamatatau clan.
Heta Pamatatau has returned to the club he coached to the 2008 title, following two seasons at Springfield, along with sons David, George and Nathan.
For the youngest of the three, Nathan, it marks his senior debut for the club he played his junior rugby with.
"It's good trying to rebuild something here," the 18-year-old blindside flanker said.
"Trying to get all the boys back.
"We're pretty happy about it.
"Especially with the boys starting to look good."
The fact the opening game is against his former club has Nathan even more excited to start the season.
There has been plenty of banter between players from the two clubs this week, though all good natured.
"I'm psyched about it," Nathan said.
"I can't wait.
"It's our chance to put all that talk out on the field."
Nathan expects a tight battle between two clubs renowned for their aggressive forward- orientated approach.
It is no surprise that the common influence in both clubs' recent history is Pamatatau senior.
"It should be pretty even," Nathan said.
"We don't know who's going to win until game day.
"I hope we win.
"We just need to stick to the game plan."
For a change that doesn't just revolve around winning the forward battle, with Nathan expecting Goodna's backs to be a major weapon.
"We want to play our running game," he said.
"We want to use the ball with our backs.
"We've got some good skills in our backline, so we've got to feed them."
While a first-up win would be a big boost for the Gladiators, Nathan said results were of secondary importance to re-establishing the club.
"We're just trying to get the club back together," he said.
COMMENT: Congratulations to the Goodna Gladiators on your re-entry to the Barber Cup. 2011 was a year of recovery for Goodna and the Gladiators. 2012 will be your year of opportunity. - PaulGTully@gmail.com