The Hunter Region’s rich football history will be recognised with the introduction of the Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) Heritage Cup, with the inaugural event to take place over the weekend of March 3-4-5.
The concept, originally proposed by leading FOX Sports identity Andy Harper and met with resounding support from NNSWF Board and Executive, aims to recognise clubs with a century or more history in the game and is an opportunity to celebrate the Region’s rich football history and acknowledge the clubs that have stood the test of time.
At the invitation of NNSWF, Adamstown Rosebud FC, Cessnock City Hornets FC, Edgeworth Eagles FC, Lake Macquarie City FC, Plattsburg Maryland FC, Wallsend FC, West Wallsend SFC & Weston Workers FC will participate in the inaugural NNSWF Heritage Cup and with further evaluation it is hoped that more clubs from the Hunter Region and beyond can be invited to participate in the future once they have reached their centenary.
Plattsburg Maryland FC has been included in the Heritage Cup to recognise and acknowledge the area where the first ever football club was established in Northern NSW being the Minmi Rangers.
Despite a busy preseason calendar for clubs, with trials & Westfield FFA Cup commitments, invitees were eager to participate and NNSWF has locked in the first weekend in March for the historic event.
“It’s a busy time for clubs, with preseason preparations a priority but they have all warmed to the concept and the significance of it within their own club as a celebration of their contribution to the history of the game in this Region,” NNSWF CEO David Eland said.
“I applaud Andy on the concept and I know that his passion for the game and his own links to the wider Northern NSW Region, will ensure he is a worthy ambassador for the NNSWF Heritage Cup moving forward,” Eland concluded.
Harper’s links to the game in Northern NSW stem from his own community club activity on the Mid North Coast, as well as finishing his playing career in Newcastle in the National Soccer League, whilst his passion for football in general is widely recognised and respected through his roles in national and international football media circles.
“Away from the national stage of modern football, it’s great to make the effort to recognise those clubs who put the game where it is today. These clubs, with miners who walked out of the pits and onto a rough shod field to kick a ball around with mates for recreation, were the founding fathers of our great game today,” Harper said.
“Their strength of character, their own love of the game and their persistence are all traits that carry on into our players today. The Heritage Cup is a great way to acknowledge the significance of those early years and the clubs who have stood the test of time in the Region and whose players share that same passion of the clubmates who preceded them over a century ago, Acknowledging and celebrating football’s rich history hasn’t always been a strong point for our game and the Heritage Cup is a means to address that,” Harper concluded.