Macarthur FC to play first match against Camden Tigers this month

Go time: Camden Tigers captain Michael O'Rourke, Camden West RFS firefighter Peter Shiels and Macarthur FC player Ivan Franjic at Ron Dine Memorial Oval in Camden South. Picture: Jess Layt
Go time: Camden Tigers captain Michael O'Rourke, Camden West RFS firefighter Peter Shiels and Macarthur FC player Ivan Franjic at Ron Dine Memorial Oval in Camden South. Picture: Jess Layt

Macarthur FC has locked in a date for the club's first trial match - and it's against some familiar opposition.

The Bulls will face off against the Camden Tigers at Ron Dine Memorial Oval in Camden South at 4pm on Sunday, October 25.

Aside from being the first time the club's inaugural team will take to the field together, the game will also serve as a fundraiser for local firies.

For Macarthur FC defender Ivan Franjic, who was born in Melbourne, the match becomes the first game he's played in the region.

"I've never played in Sydney, this will be my first game," the Gregory Hills resident said.

"I live around the corner now, so it's pretty exciting.

"I've heard Macarthur is a big football region, so hopefully we can get as much support as possible."

Crowd attendance numbers will be monitored based on Covid-19 health advice as the game draws nearer, but all proceeds will be donated to the Camden West RFS brigade.

Franjic said he was proud to be involved in a match that helped out the firies.

"With all that's happened in Australia recently, they're the real heroes," he said.

"They're the ones putting out fires and saving lives."

The former Socceroo said his teammates were all excited to get out on the field and connect with fans at home.

"This being the first time all of us are playing together, we'll be working on our connection and getting ready for the first game of the A-League season," he said.

"It's also a special moment for the Camden Tigers as well to play Macarthur FC in our first ever game.

"It's a moment in history."

Camden Tigers captain Michael O'Rourke said he was looking forward to taking on the newest A-League team.

"I'm very excited to be playing in this match," the Mount Annan local said.

"It's an honour to be playing against them, especially in their inaugural game."

The goalkeeper has been a member of the Camden Tigers fold since playing in the under-6s. He's now 21.

He said he'd played in an opener for an A-League team before, but "I've never played in this big of a game".

O'Rourke said he was expecting his family and friends to be there for he big game, pending Covid restrictions.

He is proud to play his part in supporting the RFS.

"I want to say a big thank you to the RFS for everything they've done and they're going to keep doing," he said.

"Hopefully this money goes a long way for them."

Camden West RFS firefighter Peter Shiels said the gratitude he and every other firefighter had received from locals this year was more than enough reward.

"It's an honour to have the opportunity to do something like this and the outpouring of gratitude is its own reward," the Grasmere resident said.

"That's all you need - a thank you.

"That said, the money that goes towards doing that is an extra and very much appreciated."

Mr Shiels hopes to make it to the game - Covid restrictions pending - but says he'll be proud to call himself a Macarthur FC fan.

"We haven't had a team so local in the big time before so my word, you bet I'll be supporting them," he said.

Macarthur FC coach Ante Milicic said the event was a great opportunity for his players to get some early game time in with fans.

"This is an exciting and historic moment for our club," he said.

"Our squad is taking shape and this will be a great chance for our members and fans to see the players in action for the first time."

Bulls chairman Gino Marra said raising funds for the RFS was important to the club.

"Last summer our community was hit hard by bushfire," he said.

"It was evident how short supplied our local brigades were. Assisting them in preparation for the upcoming fire season by raising money and awareness through our first match is a great honour."

A limited number of tickets will be available for the match through www.macarthurfc.com.au, and are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

This story Macarthur FC to play first match against Camden Tigers this month first appeared on Fairfield City Champion.