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Monday, 1 September 2014
Page: 9292


Mr EWEN JONES (Herbert) (16:11): The Townsville Football Cup was held in Townsville over the last nine days. We had four teams. Three teams from the A-League—Brisbane Roar, Sydney FC and the Newcastle Jets—joined the National Premier League side, the Northern Fury, in nine days of absolute football. The winner—almost incidental because it was such a great nine days—was Sydney FC. Graham Arnold, the Sydney FC coach, said he would like to have it every year. It is a warm-up, pre-season camp for those guys in the A-League, but also it is a fantastic opportunity for the Premier League guys to test themselves against the best players in the country and improve their own skills.

The National Premier League is a new tier of football in Australia. Its aims are to provide an opportunity for the development of players, to showcase local talent and to improve the management and financial position of the state leagues. I would like to congratulate Rabieh Krayem and the Northern Fury, and Townsville football, for nine days of football excellence. The visiting A-League players went on hospital visits and school visits, did clinics and made themselves available. They integrated themselves into the community. They had a fantastic time. The fact that a New South Wales team won the competition is no good to anybody, but they will be back next year!