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Maitland throws its support behind the Socceroos

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Maitland football fans will have a chance to cheer on the all-conquering Socceroos at “home” this weekend.

Following an approach from the Maitland Magpies Football Club, Maitland City Council will host a “live site”, with a big screen, at Cooks Square Park on Sunday 4 December to ensure no-one misses the Australian team’s FIFA World Cup round of 16 showdown with Argentina.

Gates to the venue are expected to open at 5am, with the match kicking off at 6am.

There will be a coffee van on site and the canteen set up for a delicious BBQ breakfast, with all proceeds going to the Magpies.

Following a 4-1 loss to France in the opening fixture, the Socceroos have stunned rivals on the global stage, by accounting for Tunisia (1-0) and Denmark (1-0) to progress to the next phase of the tournament.

Now, Graham Arnold’s men face Lionel Messi and his billion-dollar outfit for a quarter-final berth.

“It’s a historic moment,” Maitland City mayor Philip Penfold said.

“The boys are playing a world-class team in the biggest international sporting event.

“Occasions like this don’t happen every day.

“So, we’d like to provide an opportunity for local people to celebrate their efforts collectively.

“Win, lose or draw, the Socceroos have captured everyone’s hearts.

“By setting up a ‘live site’ at Cooks Square Park, we’re glad to give residents the perfect platform to support their heroes in ‘our’ city.”

Cr Penfold said the round ball code was “booming” in Maitland.

“The Magpies are doing wonderful things, on and off the field,” he told the Newcastle Weekly.

“They’ve delivered some significant results in recent times.

“Plus, the growth of the women’s game, from a local perspective, is going through the roof.

“We boast a passionate football community in Maitland.

“And, hopefully, that enthusiasm comes to the fore for the Socceroos this weekend.”

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