Community football in Australia set for big kick-off in Northern Territory

Football Federation Australia (FFA) is delighted to announce the welcome return of competitive community football in Australia this Friday night, as play resumes following the break caused by COVID-19, with fans able to see all the action livestreamed across its social channels.

The big kick-off will take place in the Northern Territory on an historic evening this Friday, 5 June 2020, with the first ever Darwin Women’s Premier League meeting between newly promoted NT Yappas – Australia’s only indigenous women’s team playing in the premier competition – and Hellenic Athletic Women, current WPL champions and premiers.

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It will be the first football match to take place in Australia since the coronavirus pandemic, and fans across the country will be able to tune in to see all the action, as the match will be shown live on FFA’s Facebook page, Twitter account and the MyFootball YouTube channel.

Commentary will feature ABC Darwin broadcaster Shannon Byrne, with special comments from former Socceroo and SBS Chief Football Analyst Craig Foster.

The Men’s Premier League will complete a memorable double header to kick off the return to football, with last year’s Grand Finalists Mindil Aces taking on Hellenic Athletic Men. This game will also be livestreamed on Football Northern Territory (FNT) and FFA’s Facebook pages with commentary from Fox Sports’ Simon Hill and analysis from FNT Technical Director and former Hyundai A-League player John Tambouras.

Football Federation Australia Chief Executive James Johnson said he was thrilled that competitive grassroots football is back again on Friday night.

“Many congratulations to Football Northern Territory and the NT Government for the close collaboration and the hard work that has enabled the return of football this weekend,” Johnson said.

“I’d like to thank every football participant in the Territory for the part they have played in helping to supress the spread of COVID-19, by adhering to government regulations during the period of restrictions.

As the most popular club-based participation sport in the country, football has an important role to play in the recovery of our nation post-coronavirus, and it’s great to see Football Northern Territory leading the way and kicking off the re-booted season in Australia.

“I wish everyone playing this weekend a safe and successful return to action, and I’m particularly looking forward to watching Friday night’s opening fixture between NT Yappas and Hellenic Athletic Women.”

FNT Chief Executive Bruce Stalder said he has been delighted with the way the clubs and players have responded to the challenges of the past few months to get back onto the field.

Our clubs have been asked to strictly adhere to government advice and implement special guidelines for our community to follow and they have done an amazing job so far. We look forward to the next step on our journey to recovery when our clubs take to the field this Friday night.”

The games will be played at Darwin Football Stadium 1, and will be open to spectators, one of the first football matches in the world to played in front of a crowd since the COVID-19 restrictions came into force. FNT will open the gates with free entry to both games, with crowd numbers restricted to a maximum of 500 to maintain social distancing requirements.

Stalder added “We met with the Chief Health Officer during the week and confirmed we were able to host a crowd of up to 500 spectators. All those attending will be reminded of the protocols required to adhere to social distancing requirements.”

“We are extremely excited that for the first time, all of the games in the Men’s Premier League this season will be livestreamed on the FNT Facebook page and YouTube Channel, showcasing our game and the Northern Territory to new audiences both in Australia and around the world.”

Live stream details:

Friday 5 June:

Women’s Premier League

NT Yappas v Hellenic AC

Kick-off 6:30pm local (7pm AEST)

Men’s Premier League

Hellenic AC v Mindil Aces

Kick-off 8:30pm local (9pm AEST)

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