Reds bound for the Top End

Adelaide United will take their A-League outfit to Darwin Football Stadium at Larrakia Park to take on Darwin’s Norzone All Stars team on Tuesday August 26.

Following their visit to Central Australia to take on Melbourne City in an A-League pre season match and the Alice Springs All Stars this month, Adelaide United will take their fancy footwork further north to the Top End.

The Darwin match is in addition to the Northern Territory Government’s two-year agreement with Adelaide United to play trial matches, pre-season fixtures and to hold training camps in Alice Springs. Negotiations are currently underway for an extension to this agreement. The Darwin match is being staged in conjunction with Football Federation Northern Territory.

“This is a great opportunity for Darwin sports fans to see national football stars in action as they take on the cream of Darwin’s football talent,” said Minister for Sport, Recreation and Racing Matt Conlan.

“The Norzone All Stars team will thrill the local crowd as they test their mettle against an A-League squad which includes national representatives.

“Soccer is one of the Top End’s most popular sports, with 3500 registered players in the Greater Darwin region, and this is a great way to further promote the game and give local enthusiasts the chance to see stars play in their backyard.”

Adelaide United CEO, Michael Petrillo said the club was pleased to be further bolstering its partnership with the Northern Territory Government by bringing the squad to Darwin.

“It’s important that our partnership with the NT is as extensive as we can make it so being able to play a match in Darwin as well as in Alice Springs further confirms our commitment within the Territory”, said Petrillo.

“With such a great participation within our code and having played there previously we expect great support again at the Darwin Football Stadium to watch us play against the local Darwin stars”.

Football Federation NT Chief Executive Office Craig Chapman expects the match to draw hundreds of Top End soccer fans.

“It is fantastic for local players to be able to take the field against an A-League team, and this will generate a lot of excitement in the local football community,” he said.

“The All Stars team will be comprised of a mix of up and coming local youth talent, for whom the game will be a fantastic developmental opportunity, and will also include more experienced players who will help ensure that the All Stars are a competitive unit.”

The Norzone All-Stars squad will be coached by Norzone Premier League reigning premiership coach John Tsaknis from the Hellenic club, and the manager will be Alex Boubaris, also of Hellenic.

A selection panel chosen by Football Federation NT has selected the provisional squad, which comprises at least one player from each Norzone Premier League club.

The Adelaide United match is the latest addition to an already packed top level sporting calendar in Darwin this year, which has seen Melbourne Demons and Parramatta Eels play their respective AFL and NRL matches in the Top End and an international cricket series played in Darwin and Palmerston.

Tickets for the match are on sale through Football Federation NT, and pre-sales will be available at Larrakia Park, as well as being available at the gate on the night of the match. Gates will open at  5.30pm, and the match will kick off at 7pm.