Football: Novocastrians touring with Australian First Nations to New Zealand

TOUR: Hunter-based Australian First Nations representatives at Speers Point this week ahead of a historic tour to New Zealand. Picture: Josh Callinan
TOUR: Hunter-based Australian First Nations representatives at Speers Point this week ahead of a historic tour to New Zealand. Picture: Josh Callinan

It started out as the Newcastle All Stars contesting the National Indigenous Football Championships.  

Now it culminates in a historic tour representing the Australian First Nations.

Seven individuals from the Hunter will be directly involved in next week’s Trans-Tasman tournament, featuring a “clash of cultures” with New Zealand Maori sides in Auckland.    

It will be the first time Australian Indigenous teams have been selected to play football against international opposition. 

Australian First Nations men’s coach Michael Hugo, of Lakelands, said it was a significant moment for Indigenous sport in the country and more specifically Newcastle with six players from the area taking part. 

“Indigenous football in Newcastle has taken another step forward,” Hugo said.

Hugo will mentor Broadmeadow brothers Taj and Kye Abrahams, Jarrod Purcell from Blackalls Park and Glendale’s Anton Fenech.

In the women’s squad are Fletcher’s Leticia Quinlan and Jesmond 15-year-old Alyssa Togo. 

The players were picked following performances at the second annual National Indigenous Football Championships in Nowra last year.

Indigenous football in Newcastle has taken another step forward."

Australian First Nations coach Michael Hugo