Get ready for some A-League action
COFFS Harbour is set to enjoy some top tier football action for the first time since 2017 as sporting fans recover quickly from the loss of the Big Bash.
Coffs Harbour City Council this morning announced the Newcastle Jets and the Brisbane Roar will hone their match fitness at C.ex Stadium in a critical warm-up clash before the 2021 A-League season kicks off in December.
The last time the region was graced by such talent was back in 2017 when the stadium was jam packed by football-crazed fans to see an A-League and W-League double header between the Jets and Melbourne City.
"It's great to be coming back to Coffs Harbour for what will be a very important trial match in the lead-up to the new A-League season," said Newcastle Jets CEO, Lawrie McKinna.
"We have fond memories of our A-League game against Melbourne City in Coffs Harbour back in 2017, which we won 2-1 and had almost 8,000 people come out to get behind our boys.
"Coffs Harbour and the entire Mid North Coast is a very important region for the Club, and as a Club we're excited to be able to bring our boys back to Coffs for a training camp and game at the recently upgraded C.ex Coffs International Stadium which looks magnificent."
The Newcastle Jets have forged strong links with the Mid North Coast, and in addition to playing A-League fixtures have hosted junior football clinics for aspiring young players.
One of their brightest prospects, Angus Thurgate, hails from Port Macquarie and has established himself as a key member of the Jets set up.
Thurgate made 41 appearances and scored three goals in the 2019-20 season.
It is a major coup for the region, which has had to deal with the disappointment of losing a Big Bash League fixture between the Sydney Sixers and the Brisbane Heat.
The match - due to be played in early January - was cancelled when Cricket Australia completely revised the fixture list to reduce the amount of travel for teams wary of exposure to coronavirus.
Coffs Harbour Mayor Councillor Denise Knight said she was looking forward to welcoming the Newcastle Jets back to Coffs Harbour.
"After a tough year for our community, it will be wonderful to end the year on a high, with an exciting football match for fans to enjoy. It will also be another opportunity for us to showcase our amazing upgraded Stadium to fans and for those fans to enjoy the top quality action on the field."
Council's Section Leader Stadium and Major Events Dan Heather said that ticket prices will be affordable, but COVID restrictions will mean crowd numbers at the Stadium will be capped at 25 per cent capacity - so people should plan to book their tickets early.
"It's great to be partnering with the Newcastle Jets again and we are working with the Jets in the hope that this trial match will pave the way to see an actual competition round of the A-League back in Coffs Harbour in the future very soon," he added.
The match will be played on Saturday December 12 with tickets going on sale November 24 via Ticketek.