Rivals the Macleay Valley Rangers and Kempsey Saints will turn from foe to friend with their best players teaming up in the Northern Representative side to face A-league club the Newcastle Jets in Port Macquarie on Tuesday August 15.
Rangers’ Paul Thurlow was appointed captain and he will join club teammates Sam Applegate, Daniel Saul, Andrew Potter and Shaun Glover while Saints’ Troy Ward, Harry James and Nicholas Wright were also selected into the side.
Despite facing the toughest opposition of their lives, coach Matt Baker said the team won’t be sitting back and defending.
“The boys will have plenty of nerves and excitement but hopefully they just go like hell,” Baker said.
“We have a plan and we will try and win the ball as much as possible and push forward with our attacking weapons.”
While the players will be enjoying the experience and competing in a match they never thought possible, the Northern Representative’s youngest member Sam Applegate views the game as an opportunity to be recognised.
Applegate trained with the Emerging Jets squad in 2013 before competing in the Saitama International Tournament in Japan.
He recently celebrated his 16th birthday and he hasn’t given up his dream of a professional football career.
“If I play well enough, I might get noticed and get an opportunity to get back into the representative sides in Newcastle,” Applegate said.
The young gun has been an instrumental player in the Rangers’ rise to the top of the table this season.
Ward will partner Thurlow in central defence and he will have his hands full dealing with the Jets’ waves of attack.
“There won’t be any room for error,” Ward said.
“They are a level above us in a lot of ways and they will make us pay.”
Thurlow told the Argus it will be special game for him.
“It will be an honour to lead the side onto the field,” he said.
“This will be my first time playing in a representative side.”
The Northern Representative side will face the Jets for the opening 45-minutes with the Southern team to play the second half of the match.