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Harris severs ties with Real NRL in shock AFL move


In a shock move, Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL) boss Matt Harris has severed ties with the code to link up with rival AFL Hunter Central Coast.

Less than a month ago, the CEO spoke to the Newcastle Weekly about the upcoming 2021 season, stating how strong the competition was with Central Coast clubs Wyong and The Entrance joining Central Newcastle, Cessnock, Kurri Kurri, Lakes United, Macquarie, Maitland, South Newcastle and Western Suburbs in the top grade.

But, last week, AFL Hunter Central Coast announced the appointments of Harris and Lindy Hyam to further enhance Aussie Rules in the region.

The former is the new community football/competition manager while the later accepted a position on the board.

“Matt boasts expertise in sports administration and a lifelong association with the Hunter,” AFL NSW/ACT’s community football regional manager Marc Geppert said.

“He’ll be an asset to AFL Hunter Central Coast.

“His leadership experience in the sports industry will ensure he can hit the ground running and build on the already great football scene in the Hunter Central Coast.”

Hyam, meanwhile, has 20 years’ knowledge at board and CEO levels in the private and public sector.

Her career spans multiple industries including agriculture, local government, health, airports, resources recovery, legal services, professional services, the environment and education.

“Lindy brings diversity of thought and a wealth of experience to our board,” AFL Hunter Central Coast chairman David Flynn said.

“She’ll be invaluable in ensuring Hunter Central Coast continues to have a well-organised, professionally-governed league, which continues to inspire AFL participation in the region.”

AFL NSW/ACT head Tiffany Robertson is also delighted to have Harris and Hyam on deck.

“AFL continues to go from strength-to-strength in the Hunter Central Coast,” she said.

“I look forward to the contribution Matt and Lindy will make towards the continued growth and development of the code in the region.

“We are experiencing positive registration trends at all levels of the game and are excited for a bumper 2021 community football season.”

AFL Hunter Central Coast seniors’ round one kicks off on 10 April, with the juniors beginning the following week.

There is still time for anyone interested to sign up and pull on their local team’s jersey.

Details on how to register can be found at

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