Football festival kicks up a gear


An innovative football festival will showcase Newcastle’s diverse sporting talent this weekend.

The All Stars festival is set to include four games of football and raise funds for the Mark Hughes Foundation when it kicks off on Saturday 30 March at No.2 Sportsground.

Newcastle Rugby League has hosted the event for the past three years, but the 2019 edition will be boosted through a celebrity football match, as well as a beer, wine and food festival that will feature a variety of local vendors.

Hughes has been appointed captain of the celebrity team, which will tackle a mixed squad from Newcastle Rugby League.

“I have personally had a close connection with Newcastle Rugby League for well over 20 years,” Hughes says.
“We’ve received lots of great support from the rugby league family and this day will be fantastic, with so much to do on-and-off the field, whilst in the process of raising much-needed funds for brain cancer research.

“We are very excited to have a celebrity league tag team with many of my [former] Knights teammates to take on the Newcastle Old Boys, which should be a great, fun spectacle,” Hughes says.

“We look forward to seeing lots of people there on the day to support local footy and our local charity.”

The on-field action gets underway at 12.15pm with the Ladies’ League Tag ‘rep trial’, followed by the Under-19s Emerging Rebels an hour later.

The celebrity match, set to include the likes of ex-Knights skippers Kurt Gidley and Mark Sargent, then takes to the field at 2.30pm.

The Indigenous All Stars and Newcastle All Stars round out the action when the two sides clash at 4pm.

Gates open at 10am and tickets are available to purchase on the day for $5.

Indigenous All Stars squad: Reid Alchin (Kurri Kurri), Ngangarra Barker (Kurri Kurri), Randall Briggs (Macquarie), Isaac Briggs (Macquarie), Josh Charles (Cessnock), Josh Griffiths (Maitland), Jarom Haines, Barry McGrady, Tom McKenzie, Jordan Mitchell and Jade Porter (Kurri Kurri), Jayden Rosberg (Macquarie), Warren Schillings (West Newcastle), Matt Simon (Macquarie), Lincoln Smith (Cessnock), Adam Swadling (Macquarie), Brad Tighe, Mark Walker, Ryan Walker, Luke Walsh, Ryan Walsh (West Newcastle).

Newcastle All Stars squad: Willis Alatini (West Newcastle), Jayden Butterfield (Maitland), Ethan Cook (Central Newcastle), Isiah Cooper-Tetevano (Cessnock), Tom Cronan (South Newcastle), Mitch Cullen, Tyme Dow Nikau (Kurri Kurri), Ryan Glanville (South Newcastle), Matt Hay (Macquarie), Matt Herman (West Newcastle), Luke Higgins (South Newcastle), Sam Keenan (West Newcastle), Jack Kelly (Lakes United), Cameron King (South Newcastle), Tama Koopu, Alex Laingbridge, Pat Mata’utia (West Newcastle), Harry O’Brien (Cessnock), Chad O’Donnell (West Newcastle), Daniel Peck (Lakes United), Brendan Simpson (South Newcastle).

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