Union and league link for a footy feast in Walcha

THE WALCHA Roos and Rams will host the Cowboys and Devils in a festival of football on Saturday at Walcha’s Captain Cook Oval to kick off the winter season.

The Roos will host Dungowan in the opening round of second division rugby league, whilst Gunnedah will travel to Walcha for the opening round of Central North rugby.

Generally the codes can polarise fans but early ticket sales and interest suggest this is not the case in Walcha.

A huge turn-out and day is expected, with both coaches praising the idea.

There will actually be three codes played, as the Roos’ League Tag side kicks off its season as well.

The girls will play at midday, before the Roos play at 1.15pm and the Rams finish off at 3pm.

The Rams will only field a first grade this season.

Rams coach Andrew Jack said Walcha was looking to put a disappointing season behind it and make up for a couple of performances.

“The crowd should be nice and rowdy by three o’clock,” Jack said.

“It will be perfect for us to stamp our authority on the competition this year.”

Gunnedah will also be looking to improve on a season where it under-performed.

The Red Devils finished just out of finals contention after dropping off at the end of the year.

Central North will be split mid season into a top and bottom tier, making early victories vital.

“We are hungry for that first win and are aiming for a top five position when it splits,” Jack said.

“We have the quality to do it and are looking forward to a very exciting season.”

The Roos are in the same boat, aiming to hit the top four after just missing out on the finals last season.

That was Walcha’s first season back in the game for fourteen years.

Coach Peter Berry is excited about the second division season kicking off.

“All the teams look pretty good this season and have picked up some quality players,” he said.

“We have an exciting team and should be up there.”

The Roos have got a few of the rugby boys playing for them this year and also have some good juniors coming through.

Walcha will have a little less travel now that Bingara has pulled out and Quirindi will be playing as West Lions reserve grade in Group 4.

“This weekend will be great for the town and both codes,” Berry said.

“We have played games against each other before but have never shared a day like this before.”

The day is one of a couple that could potentially happen this season in Walcha.

A full bar and BBQ facilities will be operating all day.

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