The Newcastle Jets will take part in a four-team pre-season mini-tournament known as the Wingate Properties Townsville Football Cup in August.
The Newcastle Jets will take part in a four-team pre-season mini-tournament known as the Wingate Properties Townsville Football Cup in Townsville in August.
The tournament will also feature reigning A-League champions, Brisbane Roar, Sydney FC and Townsville based NPL side Northern Fury.
Newcastle Jets coach, Phil Stubbins, said the nine-day camp and mini-tournament is an “ideal” opportunity for his squad to get to know each other outside of training and playing.
“It-s rare for an A-League team to be able to have time away like this for an extended period in pre-season, and it will augur well for our preparation," Stubbins said.
“By the end of August, I expect the three clubs will have most of their squad settled also so the people of Townsville and North Queensland will have one of the first opportunities to see how the teams are faring heading into the A-League-s 10th season.”
The tournament will mark the return of Hyundai A-League football to North Queensland.
“This is a great coup for Townsville and North Queensland,” said Mundingburra MP and Northern Fury Foundation member, David Crisafulli.
“We-re a sports loving region, and it-s a great privilege to have three of the best A-League teams in the one place at the one time,” Mr Crisafulli said.
The Wingate Properties Townsville Football Cup will played between 24-30 August with match days on 24, 27 and 30 August at the Townsville Sports Reserve.
“This is a wonderful event for Townsville and football fans throughout the North Queensland region,” said the Mayor of Townsville, Jenny Hill.
“We-ve missed A-League football since it was taken away but this is a unique opportunity for fans to see three top teams in action over one week,” Cr Hill said.
Cr Hill said that between them, the three clubs have won six of the nine A-League championships so far.
As well as marquee matches each match-day between the A-League clubs, there will be a curtain-raiser match involving Northern Fury on two match-days and a third team yet to be determined on the final match-day.
Brisbane Roar Director of Football, Ken Stead, said that the champions enjoy visiting regional areas of Queensland.
“We know that, with Fury out of the A-League, many supporters have transferred their support - at least temporarily - to Brisbane Roar as the only Queensland team left standing. It will be great to meet many of Roar-s North Queensland fans.
“The Townsville Football Cup will be an important part of the preparation for next season when we-ll be getting ready not just for our title defence but also the Asian Champions League in 2015.
“I have spoken with Mike (Mulvey) and I know that he is looking forward to it immensely.”
New Sydney FC coach, Graham Arnold, said that a nine-day camp with three matches was fantastic preparation for his squad.
“The Townsville Football Cup will provide us with an excellent test of our progress just over a month out from the start of the Hyundai A-League season.
“To be playing good quality opposition in a competitive environment is also ideal preparation for us and we are looking forward to the trip.”
Northern Fury coach, Ian Ferguson, said that he was delighted that three A-League teams would visit Townsville.
“It-s a big step-up for the Northern Fury boys to play an A-League team, but it-s a wonderful opportunity and experience for them.
“I hope that football fans from around the region get behind the Townsville Football Cup and show their passion for, and deep knowledge, of the game by actively supporting the tournament.”
The winner of the Wingate Properties Townsville Football Cup will be determined as the team with the most number of points after the three matches. If points are equal, the number of goals scored will determine the winner.
Northern Fury Chairman, Rabieh Krayem, said the Wingate Properties Townsville Football Cup is possible due to the support of Wingate Properties Townsville and the City of Townsville, and supporting partners including the Townsville Bulletin, 4TO-FM and the Holiday Inn.
Krayem said Northern Fury, Brisbane Roar, Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC members have from today until midnight on 1st June to purchase tickets before they go on sale on Monday 2nd June via Townsville Tickets.
Tickets range from $25 for a child under 15 through to $150 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 children under 15) for a three-match day package (six matches in total).
Brisbane Roar, Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC will spend nine nights in Townsville.
For further information, including ticketing details and the Wingate Properties Townsville Football Cup schedule, visit the event website at www.townsvillefootballcup.com.au