Football’s traditional rivalry between New South Wales and Queensland will be reignited this weekend when women’s and men’s representative squads made up of some of the best National Premier Leagues (NPL) players in the country clash at Brisbane’s boutique Perry Park.
At 5:00pm (local time) this Saturday, Queensland, coached by Alex Bundalo, will take on New South Wales, coached by Jason Eager, in the women’s contest.
This fixture will be closely followed by the men’s match at 7:00pm (local time) as New South Wales, mentored by former Socceroo Luke Wilkshire, travel north to tackle Queensland, coached by Ben Cahn.
Both matches will be live streamed across the nation and internationally via the NPL.TV platform, with the action described by leading Australian football commentator, Simon Hill.
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Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson, and FFA National Technical Director, Trevor Morgan, will make the trip north this weekend to attend the matches.
Johnson said he’s looking forward to taking in two high quality games of football made possible by the close collaboration of Football NSW and Football Queensland.
“In the XI Principles for the future of Australian football, we highlight the need for Australian football to reimagine its football products to connect the game and excite football fans. We recently announced our own changes to the FFA Cup competition and it’s great to see Football Queensland and Football NSW taking initiative to rekindle a natural rivalry,” Johnson explained.
“This weekend’s representative fixtures, which will feature some of the best NPL players from each state, as well as several former and aspiring Westfield W-League and A-League players, are a great example of the type of matches that can be staged to reward players for their performances throughout our NPL seasons and bring our football community together to celebrate the game.
“We congratulate both Member Federations and hope that representative NPL matches – not only between Queensland and New South Wales but involving all nine of our Member Federations – can become a regular feature of the national football calendar.”
Football Queensland (FQ) will play host to the first representative fixtures between the States since 2003, and FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said he can’t wait for kick-off at Perry Park.
"It's fantastic for the Queensland, New South Wales and Australian footballing communities that we've brought this great tradition back to life after nearly 20 years," Cavallucci said.
"The rivalry between Queensland and New South Wales runs deep through our game's history and Football Queensland is delighted to give a new generation of players and coaches the opportunity to develop their own legacy.
"This is an outstanding opportunity for up-and-coming players to demonstrate their ability and for football fans to celebrate our talent, especially heading towards the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023.
"I have no doubt our two Queensland State Team squads will be very competitive and deliver what Queenslanders do best and beat New South Wales."
New South Wales men’s coach Wilkshire and women’s coach Eager are equally thrilled to be involved with the fixtures.
“This will be a great showcase for potential A-League players to be seen on a bigger stage, so I am sure the players selected will be playing at their very best to attract potential suitors,” Wilkshire said. “This definitely brings me back to my old schoolboy days – it is a fantastic initiative and one I am eagerly looking forward to with one eye on ensuring we get one over our neighbours.”
Eager added: “It is an exciting concept for football and another opportunity to showcase the quality in the female game. It is a great reward for the girls selected, as well as a responsibility to represent all players in the NPL NSW Women’s and the female football community.”