Bingera face stern first test in UPE in the defence of the Cup
FOOTBALL: Bingera knows that, in life, everything at some stage must come to an end.
The club is hoping this year isn't the year that applies to its domination of when it comes to dominate Wide Bay football.
The Stripeys start the defence of their title in the Triple M Cup tonight against the United Park Eagles, looking to win a 22nd title in the history of the Cup.
It is the first of three titles the team is defending this year, including the Wide Bay Premier League, after winning back-to-back titles last year.
"Trying to win it three years in a row makes it more difficult," coach Andrew Donnison said.
"More difficult as more teams raise their level to beat you. Realistically how long can you stay at the top?
"We hope it is at least another year and we're confident we have the team to do that."
It is a view shared by captain Daniel Watson who returns in the top job this year.
But the side may not be 100 per cent for tonight.
The team started pre-season later than other teams and has only had one hitout this pre-season, while some other clubs have had up to four.
"We haven't had the longest pre-season and a few downpours have shortened our sessions," Watson said.
"But it's pretty good, we know we are fit and ready to go."
The two sides have already played each other with the United Park Eagles winning 4-3 in a friendly a couple of weeks ago.
The Eagles led 3-0 at half time.
But Watson is not reading too much into the scoreline.
"We tried a few things during that contest," he said.
"We'll still be competitive, the experience in our squad you can't teach and that will cover our fitness.
"We've got that in our favour."
But the side will respect the Eagles and what they've done over the past 12 months.
"They've come a long way and improved massively," Watson said.
"We'll be playing a strong team and be positive we can get a result."
The Eagles on the other hand are primed and ready to deliver the first title for the club since it formed into one entity in 2015 after North Bundaberg and Moore Park Beach merged.
The club has won three of its pre-season games, including two against Wide Bay opposition, including Bingera.
"We've been working a lot on fitness," UPE coach Scott Bretag said.
"That's what we feel is our big difference to taking the club to the next level."
The club retains most of its players from last year and has another couple of signings being unveiled this week.
Bretag hopes the level improvement of last year's squad takes them to the next level, to win titles.
"Bingera are very beatable," he said.
"Joel Haack is a nightmare to deal with, so we need to be getting him under control."
Bretag was pleased with what he saw against Bingera a couple of weeks ago in the friendly.
He said the score only got closer after the side made a host of changes at half time.
"It's a good way to start, to play the best," he said.
"If we go out and beat Bingera then it gives us a good chance to bring the first senior trophy to the club."
The game starts at 8pm tonight at Martens Oval.