Nambucca Strikers Challenge Cup 2019

Nambucca Strikers Football Club president Paul Cue is expecting a big turnout to this years event. Photo: Stephen Katte
Nambucca Strikers Football Club president Paul Cue is expecting a big turnout to this years event. Photo: Stephen Katte

This weekend the annual Nambucca Strikers Challenge Cup is all set to take place at Coronation Park.

During the three day event, both fields at the Strikers home ground and the adjacent Rugby League field will be utilised so locals and visitors alike will be spoilt for choice when the over 35's kick off this Friday at 6pm.

Saturday will have the over 35's finals which is scheduled to start at 3.15pm, while the men's and women's will kick off at 8:30 am. Sunday will have the top four teams from the men's and women's battle it out for the Challenge Cup, start time is 9:00 am.

"We have 32 teams entered this year, they are coming from all over, there is a Gold Coast side, and teams from Sydney, as well as our local sides. There are two men's and three women's from the Strikers this year," Nambucca Strikers Football Club president Paul Cue said.

"There will be three fields running over the course of the event, two of which will be going pretty much the whole time.

"There’ll be a range of food and drink options, we will have the canteen running, a food truck, and we are a licensed venue; however, there is no BYO and no glass."

This year the cup turns 41, and the competition will be fierce as teams battle it out in each division to win the Challenge Cup, prize money and most importantly of all, bragging rights.

"The halves are short and sharp, so anyone can win. All the sides that are coming are strong and tough to beat; it will be a great weekend of football," Cue said.

"Our local sides are made up from our regular season teams, and they are playing really well. The men's is very strong, they trialled last weekend and looked very slick, I'd say they have a good chance this year.

"The women's teams are also looking great, the Urunga Raiders have been the side to beat the last few years, but I think this year we could break the stranglehold they have had on the division."

Nambucca Strikers vs Coffs Tigers last year. Photo: Christian Knight

Nambucca Strikers vs Coffs Tigers last year. Photo: Christian Knight

Returning for another year is the Sydney based West Pymble Football Club, who have been competing at the cup for decades.

"It would have to be at least 35 years, they are the team to beat most years, and they have a great and proud culture," Cue said.

"You know when their teams are playing because their cheer section is loud, sometimes they have costumes, they bring an atmosphere that makes an already exciting game even better.

"One year they were dressed as referees and shadowed the match officials helping them referee the match, the crowd loved it."

While wet weather could prove to be a deterrent, the Strikers president is confident that there won't be a repeat of 2017 when the competition was called off.

"We are hopeful the wet weather will hold off, unless we get torrential rains, we should be fine; our field has great drainage," he said. 

"Everybody is welcome to come down; this is the only time of the year you get to see football of this quality in Nambucca."

The Nambucca Strikers Challenge Cup is sponsored by the Nambucca Leagues and Sports Club.

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