Anzac Cup AFL at Slade Park
THE Collingwood Football Club, in conjunction with the Essendon Football Club, decided in 1995 to honour all returned servicemen and women from all theatres of war with a game of football.
The appropriate day was to be on Anzac Day, with the Anzacs being the main focus. Ironically that first game in 1995 was a draw, signifying, many believe, that in war nobody is a winner.
The game is now a regular AFL feature. In a number of country competitions throughout Australia there is now an Anzac Cup played for.
The town of Warwick can stand proud on the Darling Downs, as the Redbacks were the club to introduce this game into the competition.
The year was 2002 and initially the cup was to be played between Kingaroy Bulldogs and the Redbacks. When Kingaroy was forced to pull out of AFLDD, the tally of wins was 3-2 to the Redbacks.
The cup gathered dust for the 2007-08 seasons and was reintroduced into the competition in 2009 with a resounding Redbacks 74-point win against USQ Cougars.
Unlike the top level of the AFL, the Redbacks are unable to play the game on April 25 each year so it is played on the nearest Saturday to Anzac Day. Goondiwindi Football club will travel to Warwick on Saturday and attempt to win the cup from the Redbacks.
With the outstanding assistance and sponsorship of the Veterans Support and Advocacy Services Australia, a commemorative service will be held prior to the senior game at Slade Park on Saturday.
VSASA president Steve Mackie has merged with the RSL to assist in the remembrance of all veterans. Guest speaker is a veteran of seven months service in Iraq, Sergeant Greg Woodward, who was adjudged by the umpires as man of the match and awarded the Anzac Medal last year.
For the first time, the Redbacks will wear a one-off guernsey designed for the day and supplied by Harvey Norman Warwick.
The Redbacks will be having a day for all veterans at the game with supply of some food and beverages, so veterans are asked to come along adorned with medals and enjoy a battle of a different kind, one that can be remembered as purely entertainment.