Ovens and Murray football will return to Barkley Park in Rutherglen for the first time in 34 years this Saturday for what is predicted to be an epic clash.
After the Corowa Spiders and the Rutherglen Redlegs merged in 1979 to form the Corowa-Rutherglen Roos, the new entity played just two seasons at Barkley Park in 1980 and 1982 before settling on a home base at the John Foord Oval in Corowa.
This year the club has jumped at the opportunity to host a game against Wodonga in Rutherglen on Saturday, June 11, as part of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
Corowa Rutherglen Football Club Director Craig Spencer said the club saw an opportunity to strengthen the engagement of the Rutherglen community with their local Ovens and Murray club. “Many great Corowa-Rutherglen players have started their football careers at Barkley Park and the opportunity to showcase one of our games there on such a big weekend was an opportunity that the club could not let slip,” he said.
“Although this is the first O and M game in Rutherglen in 34 years we are desperate for it not to be the last and we would love this to be at least an annual event.
“The Rutherglen Football Club has been sensational in the way that they have embraced the concept and their support and help in bringing it together has been fantastic.”
To mark the importance of the occasion, the club will be hosting a President’s Lunch and are delighted to have secured former Rutherglen and Melbourne Football Club champion and AFL Hall of Fame Member Hassa Mann as guest speaker.
Other special guests will include the inaugural Roos coach Peter Chisnall, premiership coach Peter Tossal, Rutherglen stalwart Ewart Henderson and a host of past Rutherglen champions.
The senior team will wear the old Rutherglen Redlegs jumpers and red socks to mark the occasion and the club hopes the spectator turnout for the match will be significant.
After the game the jumpers will all be auctioned off, providing a great opportunity for people to collect some unique memorabilia.
“Having this match played on the Queen’s Birthday weekend is an added bonus and we are hoping that many of the visitors to the area will see the match taking place and want to call in to see what is happening,” Craig said.
There will be a shuttle bus to transport Roos supporters to Rutherglen leaving from the bus depot in River Street, Corowa at 10.30am, 11.30am and 1pm.
The bus will also shuttle people home after the match.
Tickets to the Presidents Lunch can be purchased for $50 each at Origin Clothing, Corowa and Riverland Mitre 10, Rutherglen. The lunch is scheduled to start at noon and includes a two course meal.