2014 Yass Valley Touch Football Knockout

2014 Yass Valley Touch Football Knockout

A record number of 107 teams will participate in the 26th Yass Valley Touch Football Knockout to be held on 25th & 26th January. There are 48 Mixed teams, 38 Men’s teams and 21 Women’s teams doing battle for the $12,000 prizemoney up for offer. 

 A total of 167 games of Touch Football will be played at Victoria Park on Saturday and over 120 On Sunday.

Ninety eight teams participated in last year’s Knockout and 70 of those teams are back to enjoy the action which will commence at 8am on both days.

There are five teams from Adelaide; 10 teams from Melbourne; 40 teams from Sydney; 17 teams from Canberra;  three from the Central Coast and teams from Albury; Wagga; Leeton; Griffith; Young; Cowra; Condobolin; Parkes; Dubbo; Nelson Bay; Wollongong; Albion Park; Nowra; Milton-Ulladulla; Mogo; Moruya; Goulburn and the Defence Forces.

Yass will be represented by Kiss My Pass; the Ninja Turtles; Woden Eagles; Smokin Darts & Breakin Hearts and the Well Hungarians led with Buster Connors at the helm.

The Woden Eagles will be one of the teams to beat in the Men’s division with players like Scott Naughton, Chris Rawlinson, Ben Wylie, Matt Cooke and Jarrod Teka in their lineup.

Other teams to watch in the Men’s division are The Pennybridge Pioneers from Wollongong; Cruisers Hornsby; the Eggs from Sydney; Off da Hook from Melbourne and Where’s My Tape Measure from Canberra.

Dylan Hennessy regarded by many as the best player in Australia will play for Off da Hook and for Freezin Ice in the Mixed competition.

Rebels from Sydney the current Mixed Champions will be back to defend their title and will be hard to beat again with Manu Wakely at the helm. There main opposition will come from the Crazy Frogs from Canberra; Te Whanau from Manly; Smokin Darts & Breakin Hearts from Yass and Hot Custard from Melbourne.

Hot Custard are a team made up of players from Australian and England who played touch football together when working in London. Three players from London have travelled to Australia for holidays and are participating in the Yass Knockout as part of their travel itinerary.

Kiss My Pass the Yass team in the Mixed competition has Emily Witt; Heidi Broers; Luke Darmody and old warhorse Terry Patrick in their line up while Bronwyn Pollack; Jenna Cooke, Liana Wylie and James Bryne are key players in the other Yass Mixed team Smokin Darts & Breakin Hearts.  

 

In the Women’s division the Cruizers from the Central Coast led by Amy Regal will be the team to beat though Te Whanau from Manly; ACT W35’s, the Cheeky Prawnettes from Sydney; the Jets from Bankstown and the Woden Eagles from Canberra will give them a run for their money.

The Yass Ninja Turtles lineup includes Jessica Rootsey; Lucy Prosser; Jess Howard; Casey Hanrahan and Ebony Henderson who has just returned from 12 months in England to play in the Knockout.

The Southern Suns Men’s 55’s team will use the Knockout to prepare for the National Touch League Championships (NTL) at Coffs Harbour in March. Don Barbaro from Griffith will lead the Sunsetters into battle.

There are eight ACT teams using the Knockout to prepare for the NTL. Doug Witt is coaching and playing for the ACT Men’s 45’s team while Sally Witt is playing for the ACT Women’s 40’s team and daughter Ashleigh will lineup for the Yass team Kiss My Pass. Ashleigh has inherited the speed of her grandfather Dale Carmody.

Todd Mills will be a key player in the ACT Men’s 40’s team while Jai Smith and Jarrad Forlonge will play for the ACT MTL team.

Dave Turner will lead the ANU Bears Old Boys into action and Marty Kirkman will return to show his skills for the Dubbo Devils in the Men’s division. Marty is now A Level 3 referee.

The Condobolin Boomerangs led by Otis Williams and the Parked Cw Snipers with Beau Tanswell at the helm are will be the first teams From Condobolin and Parkes to play in the Knockout.

The Defence Forces will be represented by Once Were Warriors a Men’s 40’s combination; the Defence Senior Mixed team and Albatross a Men’s Navy team from Nowra.

Each team will play three games on Saturday before the teams are graded for Sunday’s Knockout event.

Knockout History

The Yass Touch Knockout commenced in 1989 with 29 teams competing. For the last decade, 80 plus teams have participated each year and this year’s record number of teams will eclipse the previous record of 104 teams in 2012. In 2012 it was the only year that there wasn’t a forfeit.

The Yass Knockout is the largest of its kind in Australasia and is regarded as a tournament that produces a high standard of touch as well as being a great social event.

It is an annual event no touch player wants to miss and is always the first event pencilled in each year by the touch heads of the country.

Big Name Sportsmen

Current and former rugby league stars like PJ Marsh (Parramatta, Broncos and New Zealand Warriors), David Hatch (Cronulla), Ian Russell (Illawarra Steelers), Joe Williams, Eric Ferguson (South Sydney), Nick Kouparitsas (Sydney Roosters), Mark Bell and Jamie Soward (St George) and former NSW Waratahs’ fly-half Daniel Halangahu have played in the Knockout over the years.

David Hatch who played for the Cronulla Sharks for a decade is back playing for The Sunsetters in the Men’s division. ‘Hatchy’ who now lives at Bawley Point on the South Coast has passed the 55 years old mark but you wouldn’t think so.

Legendary Teams

The Leeton Zonks, who played in the Knockout for a decade in the 90s, are known as one of the great social teams to have participated.

The Zonks were a team formed around ex-students from the Leeton High School and were led into battle by the likes of Bruce Washington, Greg Reberger and ex-Sydney rugby league players Chris Houghton (Parramatta) and Larry Kelly (North Sydney). All the players had to meet at the Leeton Post Office at 6am on Saturday morning of the Knockout to travel by bus to Yass. They had to wear their famous white and black uniform which included the “Z” cap for the whole weekend and were only allowed to bring a tooth brush and toothpaste to Yass.

Other legendary teams were the Culburra Legends, Spunky Love Machine Young, Bowral Boys, Milky Lickers Umina, Nye Bros Mogo, Central Thoroughbreds Cootamundra, Hookies Heroes Temora, Tequila Slammers Mittagong, Albury Mojo, Redbacks Yass, Coastal Tyres Central Coast, Rip ‘Em Out’ Gosford. Wollongong Cellars, Stefan’s Kebabs Wollongong, City of Orange, Fabric Warehouse Canberra, Melbourne Thunder, Alacrity Brisbane, Te Whanau Manly, Shark Attack Cronulla, St George, Parramatta, Sydney University, UTS Lizards, XBlades, Chosen Few, Good Things, Cookie Monsters, Mr Walker, Suns of Beaches, SR 2002 and the Ol’ 55s led by former Jerrawa schoolboy Noel ‘Condor’ Donoghue.

The Narooma Hasbeens one of the party teams will miss this year’s Knockout for the first time in a number of years.

Match Officials

Kel O’Rourke the legendary Canberra Greyhounds racecaller will be the voice at this year’s Knockout letting everyone know what is going on.

Peter ‘Milo’ Millington from Wagga; Nick Altin from Griffith and Paul Baker from Canberra will be the Referees Co-ordinators for the tournament.

Peter Fan a Level 4 referee who has been studying in Canberra for three years will referee at the Knockout before returning to Hong Kong.

Mack Hoverman will travel from Brisbane to officiate at the tournament along with other Level 6 referees like Victor Baptiste from Sydney; Larry Kent and Gary Brickell from Wollongong; Clint Jory and James Steinberg from Canberra;  Nick Altin and Peter Millington;.

Other referees in attendance include Frank Scarfone and Tony Calabria from Griffith; Greg Horton from Leeton; Adam Cooper from Milton Ulladulla; Cliff Winnett and Giancarlo Leung from Melbourne; Kevin Waters from Albion Park; Les Croft from Canberra; Grant Hanrahan and Matt Darmody from Yass.

Pat Batiste and Michael Irvine NSW Touch Association Development Officers will be in the Admin team updating the results and preparing the draw for Sunday.

Thanks to NSW Touch for providing the feather banners with the Field numbers.

Memorable Moments

The Knockout has produced some memorable moments. What about when the sprinklers came on in the middle of the night. It caused a lot of angst for one particular camper, Brent Perkins from the Central Coast, who was in a deep sleep when a sprinkler came up in the middle of his one man tent.

One of the Knockout’s highlights occurred in the late 90s when the second and third Tests of the Youth Trans Tasman Series between Australia and New Zealand were played at the Knockout.

Souvenirs

Souvenir shirts in 18 different colour combinations will be on sale at the Admin tent.

Supporters

The Yass business community has been great supporters of the Knockout through sponsorship which has allowed $12,000 prizemoney for the event.

Thanks to the YSC The Club for being the Major Sponsors of the Knockout and the Australian Hotel-Motel, Royal Hotel, Yass Golf Club; The Roses Café; Cafe Dolcetto, Northside Takeaway, the Swaggers Restaurant; the Hamilton Hume Motor Inn; Yass Motel; Hi Way Motor Inn; AGrade Solar Solutions; DFC Solicitors, Firths Furnishings; Yass Earthmovers; Dairy Farmers, Yass Valley Hire; Darrane Pty Ltd and the Bendigo Bank at Boorowa known as the Community Bank for being Associate Sponsors.

The profits from the Knockout have been used to keep the registration fees for the local competitions low, support local players to play at a higher level and make improvements to the facilities at Walker Park the Knockout venue.

 




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