Black Diamond AFL: Cardiff Hawks Coach Nathan Harkness Off To A Flyer
New coach Nathan Harkness says his Cardiff Hawks are removed from "cherry ripe", despite their unbeaten start to the Black Diamond AFL competition.

Harkness has presided over a powerful begin to the season for Cardiff, who pipped champions Newcastle Metropolis by four factors in the opening round then beat Nelson Bay and Warners Bay.

But he told the Herald on Friday that he expected his squad to perform even higher once they had overcome a series of disruptions as a result of weddings, injury, research and the Groovin the Moo music festival on Saturday.

"We nonetheless have gotten a whole lot of improvement. We’ve got a few ins, a hell of a number of outs," he said. "Probably just a few guys that shouldn’t be getting a game are getting a game because of the numbers. I think we’ve bought 14 or 15 out from both sides this week.

"There’s a few underdone. We’re nowhere near cherry ripe or anything like that."

One of many absentees for Saturday’s game in opposition to perennial heavyweights Terrigal-Avoca at Hylton Moore Oval will be burly forward Cam Jones, who kicked three objectives within the 26-point win over Warners Bay.

Harkness, who arrived in Newcastle in the summer from Geelong to exchange Adam Dugan at Cardiff, stated he was "having a ball" in his first season on the club.

"I’m getting good feedback from mother and father and buddies and committee members, followers of Cardiff football club who are really happy with the best way things are going," he said. "There’s a very good buzz, and to be driving that is pretty important. It feels fairly good, to be honest."

Terrigal-Avoca have scored 265 factors and conceded only ninety five in three dominant wins over Killarney Vale, City and Nelson Bay underneath another new coach, Mark Skuse.

Their back line has been imperious, stifling forwards and rebounding by means of the likes of Corey Billins, James Hart, Will McKellar and Alastair Richardson.

Elsewhere, Metropolis will chase their second win when they host Warners Bay, and Nelson Bay play Killarney Vale at Dick Burwell Oval.

City will sweat on the return of key forward Nick Gill and half-back flanker Jake Hartikainen. Max Quinlan (six objectives) and Abe Gibson (three) led the best way up forward final week in a 47-point win over the Bombers.

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