Fourteen (14) Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) local footballers shined as part of the Australian Indigenous Men’s and Women’s teams which competed in the 2019 Arafura Games football tournaments in Darwin, Northern Territory.
After an eight-year hiatus, the 2019 games was conducted from Friday 26 April until Saturday 4 May 2019, included seventeen (17) different sports, which for the first time involved two Australian Indigenous football team’s to compete at the event.
The Indigenous national Women’s side, the Koalas, incredibly took out the Gold Medal after an undefeated campaign in just their first appearance in the competition which featured eight (8) local stars from across the region including Amy Parkinson (South Cardiff), Milan Hammond (Cooranbong), Jorja Brown (Fletcher), Kimmy Trappett (Speers Point), Brianna Trappet (Speers Point), Alyssa Togo (Jesmond), Sophie McDonald (West Wallsend) and Kirstie-Powell-Walford (Maitland).
The Indigenous Roos, the Men’s national team, saw six (6) footballers from Northern NSW including Nick Charlesworth (Toronto), Tallan Martin (Whitebridge), Sam Webb (Tea Gardens), Kaiden Powell (Wollongbar), Anthony Green (Armidale) and Kenny Wright (Moree), who also tasted success winning the Silver Medal after an impressive run which only saw them lose one match in the competition.
Head Coach of the Koalas, Mick Hugo, highlighted the enormity of their achievements to be selected and perform so well.
“It was a massive honour for the players and Coaches to be selected and represent their culture and the game that they love to play,” Hugo said.
“The girls played some of the best football I have seen to come up against the Singapore national team and win the gold medal was a massive achievement.
“Working with these girls was a pleasure.”
Hugo also praised the team after only having one training session together prior to the tournament.
“The girls came together on the Friday afternoon had a one-hour training session on Saturday morning and played the first game on the Sunday afternoon.
“During the tournament the girls considered one goal and scored 35 over 6 games. Not bad for a team that had one training session.”
The Games foster goodwill between sporting neighbours and shared sporting and cultural knowledge within the Asia-Pacific region and present opportunities to showcase unique arts, culture, history and trade and investment links.
Indigenous Roos (Men’s National Team)
Koalas (Women’s National Team)
Arafura Games Gold & Silver Medals