AFL Comes Alive in Cairns

AFL has come alive in Cairns this week with a full program of community events in the lead up to the Round 17 Toyota AFL Premiership match between the Western Bulldogs and the Gold Coast SUNS at Cazalys Stadium on Saturday, July 12.

AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan said the AFL was committed to providing fans in North Queensland with live AFL action.

“The AFL is pleased to bring a Toyota AFL Premiership season match back to Cairns for the fourth year running in recognition of the extraordinary amount of support our game continues to see from North Queenslanders,” Mr McLachlan said.

“This match has proved to be a highlight of the round in recent years and local fans this year get a chance to see the Gold Coast SUNS take on the Western Bulldogs at Cazalys Stadium.

“We want fans in regional centres such as Cairns to have the chance to see Australia’s Game live as part of efforts to grow our national footprint. Supporters are encouraged to get their tickets this week to avoid disappointment.

“The AFL is grateful to the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, alongside Cairns Regional Council for their continued support in bringing the match back to Cairns for another year,” Mr McLachlan said.

This is the fourth year Cazalys Stadium in Cairns has hosted a Toyota AFL Premiership fixture match and the first time the Western Bulldogs have hosted a home game in Queensland.

Western Bulldogs CEO Simon Garlick said the Club was excited to play in front of passionate AFL fans in North Queensland.

“We’re really looking forward to playing a home game in Cairns this weekend and to be part of the AFL’s commitment to growing the game across the country,” Mr Garlick said.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for our club to take the Western Bulldogs brand to a new market, and with it engage our existing Queensland based supporters but also attract a new breed of Bulldogs fans.”

Saturday’s match will see the Gold Coast SUNS play at Cazalys Stadium for a fourth consecutive year.

Gold Coast SUNS CEO Travis Auld said the Club was looking forward to the Round 17 clash against the Western Bulldogs after last weekend’s win against Collingwood.
“We’re the away team in Cairns, however it will very much feel like we’re playing in front of a home crowd on Saturday,” Mr Auld said.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to play in North Queensland again, especially when we have Jarrod Harbrow and Charlie Dixon hailing from Cairns, Josh Hall from Townsville and Zac Smith from Rockhampton on our playing list.
“North Queensland is a key talent identification zone for the Gold Coast SUNS Academy and we’ll get to see the next generation’s talent on display in the curtain raiser match Saturday when an intra-squad match is played.
“Last week’s win against Collingwood has given the team a lot of confidence going into the match against the Western Bulldogs and we’re looking forward to seeing many North Queenslanders donning the SUNS colours at Cazalys.”

A number of community events have been scheduled in this week to showcase AFL to the local community.

Wednesday July 9
•    9am – 3pm: Juniors Boys and Girls Super Clinic (ages five to 12 years).
Griffiths Park, Monk Street, Manunda.
Free Event.

Thursday July 10
•    9am – 1pm: Youth Boys and Girls Super Clinic (ages 13 to 17)
Griffiths Park, Monk Street, Manunda
Free Event.

•    4:30pm: Western Bulldogs visits to local Junior AFL Clubs.

•    5pm – 6pm: AFL 9s Exhibition Game, Northern Events Lawn, Cairns Esplanade.

AFL 9s is a fast, free-flowing game that involves nine players on each team playing on a smaller field. With no tackling or bumping, AFL 9s is suitable for people of any age of skill level. SEA FM personalities, Mark and Juanita from the Breakfast team, Chris “Dutchy” Holland and Chris Ivers will take on local AFL 9s players in this special match. The local community is welcome to join in the fun.

•    6:30pm – 8:30pm: AFL Coaching Masterclass.
Local accredited AFL coaches are invited to register to attend the AFL Coaching Masterclass where Western Bulldogs senior coach, Brendan McCartney and Gold Coast SUNS senior coach, Guy McKenna will be joined by AFL coaching legend, Kevin Sheedy as guest presenters.

The AFL Coaches Masterclass is open to all senior, junior and women’s AFL accredited coaches and any school-based and aspiring AFL coaches in the Far North Queensland region. The session is free but spaces are limited so interested attendees are encouraged to visit the AFL Cairns website before Wednesday, July 9, 5pm.

Friday July 11
•    10:00am – 11:00am: Western Bulldogs Open Training Session
Cazalys Stadium
•    3:00pm – 4:30pm: Gold Coast SUNS Open Training Session
Cazalys Stadium
An autograph session for fans will happen along the boundary following each training session.

•    1:00pm – 5:00pm: A free AFL Fan Day will be held at Cazalys, in conjunction with the AFL Club open training sessions, where fans and supporters can participate in activities within the AFL Playground, purchase AFL merchandise and listen to the live SEA FM broadcast.

Saturday July 12
•    Gates open at 2pm with family activities in the AFL Playground
•    2pm Curtain Raiser Match – Gold Coast SUNS Academy Intra-Squad Match
•    4:40pm Round 17 Toyota AFL Premiership Match – Western Bulldogs v Gold Coast SUNS

Ticket Information
General admission tickets are still available for the Round 17 2014 Toyota AFL Premiership match. Patrons are encouraged to buy now to avoid the queues and take advantage of the free public transport.  Tickets are on sale from Cazalys Social Club, or by phoning 1300 798 550.  Prices start at just $25.00 for adults. Booking fees apply online.

For information about the community events, match, public transport and parking visit or call 07 4042 3000 during business hours.

The Round 17 2014 Toyota AFL Premiership match between the Western Bulldogs and the Gold Coast SUNS is supported by the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, alongside Cairns Regional Council as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events across the State.

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