The peninsula side will take on a selection of celebrities which includes the likes of former Socceroo stars Robbie Slater and Paul Okon, ex-Manchester City and current Manly United defender Spencer Prior, former NSW and Australian rugby league great Ryan Girdler, boxing champion Vic ?The Raging Bull? Darchinyan, author and ex-TV presenter Liz Deep-Jones and Australian Idol judge Ian ?Dicko? Dickson.
The game will be preceded by a match between local amateur side Manly Vale and the NSW Fire Brigade.
The Manly United players will be backing up from Saturday night?s crucial NSW Telechoice Premier League clash with West Sydney Berries at Cromer Park but coach Phil Moss said his charges had shown great commitment to the cause.
?This is a fantastic opportunity to show the victims of the Victorian bushfires that we care and the players are right behind it,? Moss said.
?The celebrities put up their hands straight away for this and I know the likes of ?Girds?, Liz and ?Dicko? take their football very seriously so it should be competitive.
?What happened in Victoria was devastating and touched us all so any chance to help out ? as small as it may be in the scheme of things ? is worthwhile.
?Hundreds of lives and some 2,000 homes were lost in fires.
?More than $200 million has so far been raised but really it is just a drop in the ocean when you try and put a monetary value on the damage caused physically and emotionally.
?This is just us playing our very small part.?
Apart from the two games, there will be face painting and jumping castles for the kids, a penalty shootout competition on the main field in between games and an auction with memorabilia including a pair of signed boxing gloves from Darchinyan, weekends away, signed playing jerseys and other fantastic items.
The event was the brainchild of Manly Vale player Gavin Turnbull and his team-mate-cum-Fox Sports News presenter Adam Peacock. The pair contacted Manly-Warringah Football Association and Manly United general manager Jeremy Toivonen and he was more than happy to help out.
?A lot of work has gone into this event in a short space of time and I?d like to think that will be repaid with a strong attendance on the day to help raise as much as we can.? Moss said.
?We aim to make sure the teams are as even as possible by mixing and matching the MUFC boys and the Celebrities because everyone wants to see a contest.
?It should make for a great afternoon out!?
Gates open at Cromer Park on Sunday at 1pm, with the early game at 2pm followed by the penalty shootout ? with a spot in the Celebrity Game up for the grabs for the winner ? and then the main game at 3.30pm.
Entry is a note donation (under-16s free).
What price more than 2,000 homes going up in smoke?
Worse still hundreds of lives!
More than $200 million has so far been raised to aid the Red Cross Victorian Bushfires Appeal but in reality it is a drop in the ocean.
You could quadruple it and still it would be a ?drop in the ocean?.
No amount of money will heal those wounds.
Even now, weeks after the horrific bushfires ripped through parts of Victoria, families are unable to get into their homes ? or the remnants thereof ? due to the fact that many areas are still regarded as crime scenes.
A frightening reminder that authorities are investigating the possibility that at least some of the blazes were deliberately lit.
The feeling of local residents ? which can be gauged by a simple phone call to the office of local politicians in affected areas ? is still to this day a combination of shock, disbelief and anger.
One can only assume that mood will continue for some time to come.
Only last week did some minor relief from above arrive in the form of just two inches of rain.
If only we Sydneysiders could have offered our Victorian counterparts some of the wet stuff that has dumped on us over the past month!
That, unfortunately, we can?t control!
But what we can control is aid of a financial nature and the official and heartfelt word emanating from McEwan, an area hit in a major way by the fires, is that they appreciate ?every little bit of help we can get?.
And that is the motivation behind a Celebrity Charity football match at Cromer Park this Sunday afternoon featuring a host of big names.
None of them want recognition for the role they will play this weekend and they will be first to tell you the names mean nothing ? a game of football to help raise funds is all that matters.
The likes of Robbie Slater, Spencer Prior, Ryan Girdler, Paul Okon, Matthew Johns, boxer Vic ?The Raging Bull? Darchinyan, Liz Deep-Jones and Ian ?Dicko? Dickson put up their hands without hesitation to lead the event ? a match between the celebrities and the Manly United first grade squad. Other big names are expected to confirm their attendance this week.
The initiative is the brainchild of a bunch of Manly Vale AL3 players who were so touched by the tragedies they approached the Manly Warringah Football Association and Manly United about joining forces to do ?our little bit?.
It wasn?t a hard decision for MWFA general manager Jeremy Toivonen and the MWFA and MUFC boards.
With Manly Vale?s Gavin Turnbull and team-mate-cum-Fox Sports television news presenter Adam Peacock working overtime with Toivonen to get the event off the ground, one can only encourage the local community to get behind it.
The mighty Manly Vale AL3s will take on a NSW Fire Brigade XI in the curtain-raiser at 2pm before the Celebrities and Manly United do battle in the main game at 3.30pm.
A penalty shootout will take place between the games at 3pm and there will be jumping castles and face-painting for the kids ? not to mention autographs from the celebrities.
There will also be a silent auction with some fantastic items on show.
Like anything that leaves us asking ?why? the only thing we can control is how we move forward. Money won?t fix the problem but it may just help ease the pain a little.
Football on the Northern Beaches wants to play its small part this Sunday and I?d like to think everyone will get behind it.
Gates open at 1pm. See you at Cromer Park.