Action galore as NAIDOC Cup kicks off in style


The 2023 NAIDOC Cup kicked off in style albeit in rain-soaked conditions as Valentine Sports Park played host to an action-packed Day 1 of results on Darug c0untry.

The increasingly popular First Nation tournament saw four games unfold with Northern NSW defeating Football NSW in the Under 14 Boys 6-2 in the opening match following a successful opening ceremony held on Monday.

Blake Harding’s troops got off to the best start thanks to Marli Wright scoring in the first minute before Ashtyn Ferguson returned fire to equalize in the 7th minute. Wright was at it again as he scored his second in the 11th minute before Ferguson again restored parity scoring his second of the match also in the 23rd minute. Whatever was said at half-time by Northern NSW coach Jamie Archibald worked a treat as their boys smashed home four unanswered goals with Archie Kellett and a superb hat-trick by Chase McFayden that confirmed victory for Northern NSW’s Under 14 Boys.

The Under 14 Girls ended up being a one-sided affair as Football NSW defeated Northern NSW 15-0.

The star of the show was Lacey Wynne who scored an incredible eight goals in her side’s amazing start to the tournament.

It was a tight affair in the Under 16 Boys as Football NSW snuck home with a 4-3 win.

Lucas Turk and Anthony Melissari put Football NSW in front after 22 minutes before Northern NSW responded with two goals from Harper Collins-Fry.

With the scores locked at 2-2 at the break, it was Northern NSW who came out strong in the second as Konen Smith put his side ahead in the 42nd minute.

Turk found his second goal of the match and the equaliser in the 64th minute before an unfortunate own goal by Taj Seymour in the 78th all but gave the win to Football NSW.

In the day’s final match, the Under 16 Girls saw Northern NSW prove too strong for Football NSW with a 3-0 victory.

Kealah Boldery got the party started for the visitors before Kalan iRyan notched up a brace just before half-time to secure an opening day win.

Day 3 will see each teams play each other once more in what promises to be a fitting farewell in what’s already been an incredible NAIDOC Cup tournament with matches kicking off at 9am.

The official medal ceremony and cup presentation will proceed at 3:15pm which will also feature the announcement of the players of the tournament.


Day 1 NAIDOC Cup Results

U14 Boys

Football NSW 2 (M Wright 2)

Northern NSW 6 (A Ferguson 2, Archie Kellett, Chase McFayden 3)


U14 Girls

Football NSW 15 (L Wynne 8, Khloe Houghton 2, Te’Annah Bates, Maddison Houghton, Tikka Jeffery, Keira McCown own goal)

Northern NSW 0


U16 Boys

Football NSW 4 (L Turk 2, Anthony Melissari, Ty Stoker own goal)

Northern NSW 3 (M Bates, Kaiden Boldery, Konen Smith)


U16 Girls

Football NSW 0

Northern NSW 3 (Kealah Boldery, Kalan iRyan 2)