The Roar’s Shane Stefanutto (left) and Brett Emerton of Sydney challenge for the ball during an A-League match. The teams will clash in a pre-season trial at Mackay’s Virgin Australia Stadium next month.
The Roar’s Shane Stefanutto (left) and Brett Emerton of Sydney challenge for the ball during an A-League match. The teams will clash in a pre-season trial at Mackay’s Virgin Australia Stadium next month. Bradley Kanarisgetty Images

A-League match for new stadium

FIRST it was two top-of-the-table NRL teams and now it's soccer's turn.

Yesterday's exclusive Daily Mercury announcement of a trial match between Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC has Virgin Australia Stadium management excited.

Greg Sutherland, chairman of the Stadium Committee, is thrilled to have yet another big-name game in Mackay this year.

Billing it as Queensland versus New South Wales, he said the clash would draw a huge crowd.

"Roar are defending premiers, they have won the last two years," Mr Sutherland said. "And Sydney are on the world stage.

"It will draw a huge crowd as soccer is so popular in the region."

With the code enjoying a huge junior following in Mackay, Mr Sutherland said he had no doubt it would be a big event.

"The fact they are doing week-long promotional activities will give lots of access for the junior clubs and schools," he said.

"No matter what code you support its good to see those high-quality players and teams coming to our region."

Mackay Regional Council sports recreation portfolio councillor Paul Steindl is excited at the prospect of seeing two great A League sides in action.

"This certainly cements us as a destination capable of hosting major sporting events," Cr Steindl said.

"Both sides have a huge fan base and it has the potential to provide a significant economic boost to our region."

Cr Steindl, a member of the Stadium Committee, said 2012 had exceeded initial expectations

"To have a fully sanctioned NRL game and now an A-League pre-season clash is much better than what we initially thought we could achieve," he said

Cr Steindl was confident Mackay region residents would support the match.

"The first two games at the stadium were State League football games that broke attendance records, so I am sure people will turn out in their droves to see this match," he said.

 

Roar V Sydney FC

 Sunday, September 16 at 3pm

 Expected to attract thousands of fans

 Ticket sales to be announced soon

 Will include a week-long promotional activity

 Both are major teams, with Roar the champions for the past two seasons



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