UPDATE: Wet weather and forecasts across the weekend have forced Northern NSW Football to transfer all Heritage Cup pool A fixtures to Turner Park, Cessnock.
Jack McLaughlin Oval has been ruled out.
This means Edgeworth, Cessnock, Wallsend and Weston will move venues on Friday night and Saturday.
Pool B games featuring Adamstown, Lake Macquarie, Maryland Fletcher and West Wallsend remain at Adamstown Oval along with Sunday’s final.
PREVIOUS: Col Curran has both his hand and his heart on the Heritage Cup.
The former Adamstown player, Manchester United trialist and World Cup Socceroo has family ties to the silverware dating back over a century to the very origins of football in the Hunter region.
“My great-great-grandfather [James Curran] was from Scotland and he was just about to board the ship when Celtic approached him and asked him to sign on as a professional player,” Curran said.
“But he declined, came to Australia and ended up playing for the Minmi Rangers. They won the Gardiners Cup, which was a pretty big thing, in 1892 I think and he scored a hat-trick in that game. He played for them for quite a while and apparently they had a really good side.”
Curran unveiled the new Heritage Cup trophy on Thursday along with current Rosebud defender Jordan Harrison at Lambton Park, the site where the first recognised match was played in Newcastle in 1885.
The teams, on that occasion, represented areas south of Lambton and north of Lambton, which covered Minmi and the Rangers outfit Curran’s relatives were once part of.
And from Friday night the Rangers flag will be flown by Maryland Fletcher at Adamstown Oval, Curran’s old home ground, as one of eight historic clubs part of the inaugural pre-season tournament.
Maryland Fletcher, in for Minmi Rangers (1884), are the eldest entity involved followed by Wallsend (1887), Adamstown (1889), West Wallsend (1891), two-time defending minor-major premiers Edgeworth (1892), Coalfields duo Weston and Cessnock (1907) as well as recently promoted Lake Macquarie (1912).
“We’ve got to respect and honour the older clubs in Australia that have sustained long, rich histories,” Harrison said.
The squads have been split into two pools with Rosebud, Maryland Fletcher, West Wallsend and Lake Macquarie playing at Adamstown Oval. Edgeworth, Wallsend, Weston and Cessnock are over at Jack McLaughlin Oval. Preliminary games kick off at 6.30pm on Friday. They continue from 11am on Saturday. The final is scheduled for Adamstown Oval on Sunday (10am).
HERITAGE CUP DRAW
Friday at Turner Park, Cessnock
Edgeworth v Wallsend (6.30pm)
Weston v Cessnock (7.45pm)
Friday at Adamstown Oval
Adamstown v West Wallsend (6.30pm)
Lake Macquarie v Maryland Fletcher (7.45pm)
Saturday at Turner Park, Cessnock
Wallsend v Weston (11am)
Edgeworth v Cessnock (12.30pm)
Edgeworth v Weston (4pm)
Cessnock v Wallsend (5.30pm)
Saturday at Adamstown Oval
Lake Macquarie v West Wallsend (11am)
Adamstown v Maryland Fletcher (12.30pm)
Adamstown v Lake Macquarie (4pm)
Maryland Fletcher v West Wallsend (5.30pm)
Sunday at Adamstown Oval
Final at 10am