TUGGERANONG United striker Luke Stevens expects plenty of on-field banter when he faces Wagga City Wanderers for the first time on Sunday.
Stevens was a shining light for the Wanderers over the past few seasons but the talented teenager linked up with Tuggeranong United this year after moving to Canberra.
Stevens has hit the ground running at Tuggeranong with five goals from five games. He is one of several former Wanderers at the club, alongside Dylan Berkrey and Young pair, Pat Hislop and Frazer Burns.
Stevens has mixed feelings about the upcoming Wanderers game.
"It's a weird feeling, I guess, being on the other side of the fence," Stevens said.
"It's exciting, and a bit nerve-wracking I guess, because I know the boys well and that battle will bring about some banter on the pitch."
A win over ANU last Saturday moved the Wanderers to fourth spot on the CPL ladder. Tuggeranong are second after a 7-1 win over Weston Molonglo on Wednesday night.
Stevens is happy to see the Wanderers on the improve.
"It's obviously impressive and I'm really happy to see how they've progressed as a club," he said.
"They are a club that I was with for a long time so being able to see them back to where they were a couple of years ago is awesome.
"They've got a lot of young boys that are really looking quality and are coming through the ranks so I think in the next couple of years if they can hold onto those boys they will definitely mount a challenge for top spot in (CPL) and this season they'll be a force to be reckoned with."
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While happy to see the Wanderers on the improve, Stevens will be looking to add to his scoring streak on Sunday. He also may be called upon to provide some insight into the Wanderers.
"Me and Mitch Stevens the coach, we've got a fairly good relationship and we talk a fair bit about how team's set up and how they're likely to play," he said.
"Each week we have a brief before the game on how each team goes about their game and no doubt this week I might be able to provide a bit of insight to that."
While Tuggeranong has started the year well, so has Stevens, and he could not be happier at his new club.
"It's awesome. Even last year when I was in talks with the club I could tell they were going to be a fantastic fit for me in the next couple of years," he said.
"They've already shown that there's a lot of support for me and all of the other Wagga boys that are there feel that same community feel at the club. I think that's paying dividends for my performance too.
"I'm already enjoying playing football. I've scored a few goals already and feel very comfortable in the set up. Obviously I'm only as good as what I have around me and all the boys are fantastic footballers and so far it's been a great experience playing with the new team.
"The style of football we play is very fast and aggressive and it creates those opportunities for me to score so full credit to the boys."
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