Touch Football Australia (TFA) has announced the captains of the All Stars teams
that will play next Friday, 13 February at Cbus Stadium on the Gold Coast.
Touch Football will feature prominently in the overall event program for the first time in 2015; featuring some of Australia’s best players comprising a TFA All Stars Mixed team set to play an Indigenous All Stars Mixed team as a curtain-raiser to the Rugby League match.
Australian Mixed Open captain, Kylie Hilder will captain the TFA All Stars team, while Australian representatives, Trent Touma (Mixed) and Marikki Watego (Women’s) will co-captain the Indigenous All Stars team.
TFA All Star coach, Micheal Lovett said that Hilder was an easy selection based on the work they’ve done together at an Australian level over the past cycle as coach and captain of the Australian Mixed Open team respectively.
“She is a very good leader of males and females and younger up-and-coming players, as well as the more experienced players,” Lovett said.
“She is getting towards the twilight of her career but doesn’t leave anything to chance. She is well prepared fitness-wise, she works on always improving and sets a good on-field example like at last year’s National Touch League where she guided the young New South Wales Scorpions team to the Elite Eight Women’s title.”
“She is very passionate about where she has come from in her Touch Football career and always remembers who has helped her get to where she is. She is proud of the Australian crest she wears and instils that into her fellow athletes.”
Hilder says that being named captain of the All Stars team is a great honour and that she cannot wait until next week’s game.
“To be part of this inaugural Touch Football All Stars game is amazing. Just to be selected to play with some of the best talent currently in the game is overwhelming but then to get named as captain and lead this talent has made me speechless,” Hilder said.
“Being named as a captain of any team is one of the greatest honours any athlete can receive and for me being named as the first captain of the NRL All Stars Touch Football side means so much to me and will be something I will never ever forget and a highlight of my career.”
Indigenous All Stars coach, Phil Gyemore said that Touma and Watego were ‘both proud indigenous players who have progressed through the Touch Football High Performance program and into the Open teams’.
“They are both really strong chances of playing in the 2015 World Cup in Coffs Harbour and all players, not just Indigenous players, should be trying to follow in the footsteps of these young aspiring Touch Football players that would like to represent their country on home soil. They will be great leaders for the Indigenous All Stars team and are fully aware of the honour and what it means to lead this young but exciting Touch Football team on the Gold Coast.”
Watego says she is ‘extremely excited’ to be named in the side and ‘truly humbled’ to be named co-captain.
“Being fortunate enough to hold a position in this highly coveted team is something that I will never forget. It’s such a great honour and privilege to be selected to represent the Indigenous community whilst playing the sport I love. I really hope that this initiative will inspire both young Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Touch Footy players to get involved and pursue Touch be it socially or competitively.”
“To me, there is no higher honour than representing your family and your people in the wider community and I know my co-captain Trent, my team mates and I will cherish this opportunity.”
“It would be great to see this game become a permanent fixture in the Touch Football and NRL calendar! I just can’t wait to go into camp next week and prepare for what should be an exciting game of Touch Footy!”
Touma says that the game will be one of the biggest honours of his sporting career.
“To be noticed by selectors to represent the Indigenous All Star team and also my people is one of the biggest honours in my sporting career. The day I received a phone call from I could not answer with a big yes quick enough,” Touma said.
“On top of being selected in this great team I was this week announced as captain alongside Marikki, a great talent in the game today. Being proud enough to represent my people but also captain this team will stay with me for a lifetime.”
The game will be played at 3.00pm on Friday, 13 February. Stay tuned to www.touchfootball.com.au in the coming days to find out how you can watch the live stream of the game!