AFL Queensland has confirmed that the Central Queensland Challenge Cup, between the AFL Mackay 2019 Premiers and the AFL Capricornia 2019 Premiers, will take place again in 2020, with some exciting firsts introduced to the concept.

For the first time senior women will take part in the CQ Challenge, with the Bakers Creek Tigers set to take on the Rockhampton Panthers. Also, in another first for the CQ Challenge, the matches will be played in the Capricornia Region, with the Yeppoon Swans to host the day at Swan Park.

As the reigning CQ Challenge Cup holders, the Yeppoon Swans men will be keen to make it three form three when they take on the North Mackay Saints. The Swans have consistently been a dominant force in Central Queensland, having won the past two Challenge Cup matches between the two leagues, and are in the unprecedented position of remaining undefeated since 2014. In a rare occurrence their opponents, North Mackay, also find themselves on a massive winning streak, after finishing 2019 with a clean sheet.

In the women’s match, both clubs will be excited to be a part of the inaugural match with the game being a great reflection of the growth in women’s football throughout regional Queensland. The Rockhampton Panthers have developed a strong game plan in the Capricornia region, remaining undefeated premiers for the past two seasons. Whilst their opponents from Mackay, the Bakers Creek Tigers, have a young and exciting squad who will be looking to continue to develop after dropping just one game in 2019.

AFLQ’s Football Operations Manager – Capricornia, Brad Matheson, said he was excited about the region being able to host the CQ Challenge Cup for the first time, as well as seeing the introduction of women into the Challenge Cup.

“When we first contacted both women’s teams, they were very excited at the opportunity to be a part of the program. It will be great showcase for women’s football in Central Queensland and worthy recognition of the growth of female football across the two regions”, Mr Matheson said

“With limited opportunities for matches outside of the two local competitions, it’s fantastic for our region to have four of the best sides in CQ competing against each other.

“We hope to see plenty of local businesses and supporters in the region getting out and supporting what will be a great day of football action,” Mr Matheson added.

The matches will provide further excitement for the home team, as the men’s game will be the first match in the club’s history played under lights at Swan Park. The new field lighting was installed in the off-season, providing another venue in the Capricornia Region to play night matches. AFL Queensland CEO, Dean Warren will be in attendance for the historic day.

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