Cairns kicks off big week of AFL

A combined U17 years Gold Coast SUNS Academy team took on Geelong College at Crathern Park last night in  the first of a three match series of invitation matches to be held this week.  The Academy squad of 38 includes players from Mackay, Capricornia, Townsville and Cairns. 

Geelong College proved too strong for the Gold Coast SUNS Academy side, taking out the game 5.9.39 to 3.6.24. The second match is scheduled for 3:30pm Tuesday, 10 July at Watsons Oval, North Cairns.

The match kicked off a full program of community football and supporter events in the lead up to the Toyota AFL Premiership match between Richmond and the Gold Coast SUNS at Cazalys Stadium on Saturday, 14 July.

On Tuesday, two players from the Gold Coast SUNS and AFL General Manager of National and International Development, Andrew Dillon, will travel to Bamaga. The group will spend two days with communities in the Cape delivering the No Boundaries Partnership program with AFL Cape York, NPA College and the Northern Peninsula Area Council.

Now in its second year, the program is supported by the Federal Government and uses AFL as the vehicle to encourage and reward attendance at school, community participation and leadership development for young boys and girls from the region.

Over 300 students from 12 schools in the Tropical North will converge on Cairns on Wednesday for a five day competition played at Watsons Oval. The North Queensland Secondary Schools Cup is a round robin competition with the grand final played as the curtain raiser to the AFL Premiership match on Saturday.  The competition this year also includes a round robin for four female teams; and all students also take part in a Try-a-Trade expo as part of the week in Cairns.

Richmond and Gold Coast SUNS players will be involved in a leadership forum on Thursday night for young players. About 40 male and female players aged from 13 to 17 years will spend a couple of hours learning about what makes a good leader.

On Friday, fans and players in Cairns will have plenty of chances to meet players and officials from Richmond and the GC SUNS. The main attraction will be the free AFL Fan Day at Cazalys from 3pm until 6pm.  Featuring team training sessions, autograph signings with both Richmond and GC SUNS players, the AFL Playground, a SEA FM broadcast and team merchandise stalls, it will be a great afternoon for fans of all ages.

Richmond and the Gold Coast SUNS also have supporter functions on Friday night. Tickets for both events are still available – visit or the club websites for details.

Saturday will be a full day of AFL action, with the final game of the GC Academy vs Geelong College matches to be played at Griffith Park at 10am; the Grand Final of the North Queensland Secondary Schools Cup commencing at 1.30pm at Cazalys and gates opening for the Richmond vs GC SUNS match at Cazalys at 2pm.  The main game starts at 4.40pm and will be the first AFL premiership match played under lights in Tropical North Queensland.

There are still plenty of general admission tickets available for the 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 $22.50 for adults, $5.00 for kids 15 years or under or $45 for a family of four. Booking fees apply.

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

The Toyota AFL Premiership match between Richmond and the Gold Coast SUNS is supported by the Queensland Government, through Events Queensland, as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events across the State.

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