NSW State Cup 2016: Dean Russell looks forward to event

Great part of the world: NSW Touch Football general manager Dean Russell loves coming back to Port Macquarie. Photo: Ivan Sjako

Great part of the world: NSW Touch Football general manager Dean Russell loves coming back to Port Macquarie. Photo: Ivan Sjako

JAMIE Soward and Scott Prince will headline the 40th anniversary of the NSW State Cup.

Port Macquarie has hosted the last 28 years successively, but how much longer the event remains in the Hastings remains to be seen.

In total, 240 teams will take to Regional Stadium and Tuffins Lane over the three-day carnival with more than 300 referees to officiate.

NSW Touch Football general manager Dean Russell felt Port Macquarie would compete well across the weekend.

“All the fedback I’m getting is that Port Macquarie’s women’s 30s team is not a bad outfit and the women’s 40s aren’t a bad outfit,” he said.

“It’s great Port have got some open teams competing as well.

“It’s been a few years since they’ve had men’s and women’s open so the locals are doing something right to get them back in the fold.”

Former Manly Sea Eagle Cliff Lyons is expected to run around in the men’s 50s division.

As the event continued to grow, Russell said it wouldn’t be unusual to see team numbers soar past 300 in the next five years.

“Come the end of our current contract with council in 2018 we could be looking at 400 teams which is a massive event and we could get to 300 teams conceivably,” he said.

With the Tuffins Lane issue bubbling away in the background, Russell was non-committal about the future of the event in Port Macquarie.

“There has never been any guarantees regardless of anything else that might be happening,” he said.

“We always go to tender and always have an open tender process, so it wouldn’t matter if it was Port Macquarie, Wagga Wagga or Dubbo, when we get to the end of the tender process we open it up to all comers.

“Then we judge what the best outcome is.”

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