North Queensland Challenge Cup teams primed for battle

By AFLQ Media

AFL Queensland are pleased to announce reigning AFL Cairns Premiers Port Douglas will play against 2017 AFL Townsville Premiers Hermit Park in a curtain raiser to the Round 1 Toyota AFL Premiership blockbuster at Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns.

The two sides will clash in front of a bumper crowd expected to attend the AFL match between the Gold Coast SUNS and North Melbourne under lights on Saturday, March 24.

AFL Cairns has for a long time been rightfully regarded as the strongest competition in regional Queensland. However, the standard of football in Townsville has continued to improve, thus paving the way for the visiting Tigers to pit themselves against the powerful Crocs.

A similar match occurred last year in Mackay, when the premier from AFL Mackay and AFL Capricornia went head-to-head for central Queensland bragging rights.

Known as the North Queensland Challenge Cup, the game provides an outstanding opportunity for the players to strut their stuff on the big stage.

Ironically, North Melbourne boasts two former Hermit Park Tigers on their list, in ruckman Brayden Preuss and the speedy Josh Williams. No doubt the travelling Tigers faithful will be hoping both ‘locals’ are selected for the Roos.


AFL Queensland State Football Operations Manager, Barry Gibson, said it was fantastic that community footy gets the opportunity to be a part of such a big day of footy in North Queensland.

“It’s a terrific opportunity for the players and clubs, particularly Hermit Park, as Cairns has such a strong competition and the Crocs have been a powerhouse for some time now, so for them to see where they sit in the grand scheme of things is an opportunity they will no doubt relish,” he said.

“To be able to be part of Round 1 hype of the AFL home-and-away season is a great way to promote and showcase local footy and I’m sure both teams will receive great support, not just from their club’s supporters, but the broader footy community.”

Gates open 3.30pm with the curtain raiser commencing at the same time, whilst the SUNs v Kangaroos at 6.25pm.


Spectators wanting to attend the curtain raiser will need to buy a ticket to the main game. Tickets are available through or at Cazaly’s Social Club Box Office, 344 Mulgrave Rd, Westcourt.

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