Pictured: Greg Groombridge, Adrian Mannel (Merewether Advance SFC), Sam Jones and Lachlan Schume (Minmi Wanderers SC)
The Hunter Region’s iconic football history will again be showcased and celebrated through the prestigious Ampcontrol Heritage Cup with Ampcontrol continuing its support for 2019 in preparation for this weekend’s kick-off.
Today, Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) officially launched the competition at Minmi Sports Ground, believed to have been known as Kelly’s Paddock, home of the Minmi Rangers – the first football club formed in the Hunter 135 years ago in 1884.
Ampcontrol Managing Director and CEO Rod Henderson said Ampcontrol are proud to come on board again as sponsors of the 2019 Heritage Cup.
“As a business, we believe in having strong ties to our local communities so it is great to see nine clubs entering this competition who have been established for over 100 years,” said Henderson.
Following an evaluation and feedback from participating clubs, this year’s Ampcontrol Heritage Cup tournament will be contested across three consecutive weeks and five matchdays to reduce the impact on players ahead of their respective 2019 campaigns. The first game will kick-off Saturday, 2nd February at Macquarie Field, Speers Point as Lake Macquarie City FC and West Wallsend SFC face off.
This year will be the first year Minmi Wanderers SC (1884), the oldest club in Hunter football history and formally known as Minmi Rangers, will be represented by their own team from the club in the competition along with the new addition of Merewether Advance SFC (1894).
NNSWF CEO David Eland was pleased to have two additional teams showing their keen interest in the competition as well as celebrating their clubs’ history.
“Minmi and Merewether Advance’s participation in this year’s Ampcontrol Heritage Cup is a huge boost for the competition,” Eland said.
“Minmi’s inclusion provides Northern NSW Football with an opportunity to further acknowledge and celebrate the Region’s enduring and distinguished football heritage, which was founded in 1884 when a team of recently immigrated Scottish miners formed the Minmi Rangers.”
The Player of the Final of the Ampcontrol Heritage Cup will be awarded the Col “Bunny” Curran Medal. Curran is widely acknowledged as a legend of Australian Football and played his first senior football for Adamstown, before going onto make 35 appearances for Australia in 1970 including the 1974 FIFA World Cup campaign.
Curran is also a product of a family with long football playing traditions including his great-great Grandfather, James Curran, playing for the Minmi Rangers.
“I remember my father telling me when he (James Curran) was immigrating to Australia when he was on the station in Scotland, he was offered to play for Celtic but declined the offer as he was coming to Australia,” Curran said cheerfully.
Established in 2017, the annual Ampcontrol Heritage Cup invites local football clubs across the Northern NSW region which have a century or more of continuous history to contest the cup.
The Final will be hosted at Rockwell Automation Park, Weston on Saturday 16 February at 6.30pm.
The full draw of the competition can be found below: