The vibrant outback community of Charleville will come alive this weekend as the Adrian Vowles Cup sees a record 26 teams participate in the sixth-annual event.
The event has grown from three Under 14 boys teams participating in 2014 to an incredible 26 teams this year, with a mix of Under 14, Under 16 and now Under 18 teams participating from across the state.
With the continued growth of females strapping the boots on statewide, the fun isn’t just limited to the boys.
All Under 14 and 16 girls are welcome to join in a development day on Saturday (February 23) with Queensland and Jillaroo forward Annette Brander, who is set to make the trip west.
Originally organised by Vowles himself, the carnival was created to give Under 14 kids in outback areas more footy and has been coordinated with the assistance of Shaun Radnedge and Grant Bignell – all who are mates and grew up together in Charleville.
"The reason we wanted to start the competition was simply that there was no football in the South West or Central West regions after Under 12s, so kids basically couldn't play football,” Vowles told Roma’s Western Star.
"My father was instrumental in getting an Under 14 and Under 17 competition going when I was a kid, and that continued for many years until falling by the wayside, and then Shaun's [Radnedge] son fell into that Under 14 age group and he wanted him to be able to continue to play football.”
It was at this moment that Vowles believed it was the right time to introduce the carnival.
"We created the Adrian Vowles Cup hoping to give outback kids the same opportunities as their city cousins and to play and meet people they normally wouldn’t.
"Hopefully one day, one of the players who has competed in our carnival will get to play in the NRL - and what a great story that would be.”
The carnival kicks off with the Opening Ceremony at 12pm tomorrow (Friday, February 22) at the Charleville Showgrounds before the first tackle is made at 1pm.
At the end of the weekend, Vowles will announce the two prestigious ‘Dream Teams’; comprising of the best players during the carnival who’ll receive a commemorative jersey to acknowledge the accolade.
The event is one of the most enjoyable weekends in the Outback Rugby League carnival and one that should be added to the bucket list to attend in future years.
ADRIAN VOWLES CUP 2019 DRAW
Friday, February 22
|F1||Showgrounds||F2||Baker Street Field|
|1pm||Under 14B||Carnavon v Caloundra||Under 16B||Goondiwindi v Redcliffe|
|1.20pm||Under 14B||Redlands v Goondiwindi||Under 16B||Redlands v Hervey Bay|
|1.40pm||Under 14B||Wandoan v Central West||Under 16B||Mitchell v Ringers|
|2pm||Under 14B||Benderoo v Roma||Under 16B||Red Bulls v St George|
|2.20pm||Under 14B||Redcliffe v Valleys||Under 16B||Central West v Brothers|
|2.40pm||Under 14B||Ringers v Brothers||Under 16B||Hervey Bay v Goondiwindi|
|3pm||Under 14B||Sharkies v Central West||Under 16B||Redcliffe v Ringers|
|3.20pm||Under 14B||Carnarvon v Goondiwindi||Under 16B||Redlands v St George|
|3.40pm||Under 14B||Redlands v Roma||Under 16B||Mitchell v Brothers|
|4pm||Under 14B||Wandoan v Valleys||Under 16B||Red Bulls v Central West|
|4.20pm||Under 14B||Benderoo v Brothers||Under 16B||Goondiwindi v Ringers|
|4.40pm||Under 14B||Redcliffe v Ringers||Under 16B||Hervey Bay v St George|
|5pm||Under 14B||Sharkies v Goondiwindi||Under 16B||Redcliffe v Brothers|
|5.20pm||Under 14B||Central West v Caloundra||Under 16B||Redlands v Central West|
|5.40pm||Under 14B||Carnarvon v Roma||Under 16B||Mitchell v Red Bulls|
|6pm||Under 14B||Redlands v Brothers|
|6.20pm||Under 14B||Wandoan v Ringers|
|6.40pm||Under 14B||Benderoo v Redcliffe|
|7pm||Under 18B||Brothers v Ringers|
Saturday, February 23
|F1||Showgrounds||F2||Baker Street Field|
|8am||Under 16B||St George v Goondiwindi||Under 14B||Roma v Sharkies|
|8.20am||Under 16B||Ringers v Brothers||Under 14B||Caloundra v Valleys|
|8.40am||Under 16B||Redlands v Mitchell||Under 14B||Goondiwindi v Brothers|
|9am||Under 16B||Redcliffe v Red Bulls||Under 14B||Central West v Ringers|
|9.20am||Under 16B||Hervey Bay v Central West||Under 14B||Carnarvon v Redcliffe|
|9.40am||Under 16B||Goondiwindi v Redlands||Under 14B||Redlands v Wandoan|
|10am||Under 16B||Mitchell v Redcliffe||Under 14B||Sharkies v Ringers|
|10.20am||Under 16B||Red Bulls v Hervey Bay||Under 14B||Brothers v Redcliffe|
|10.40am||Under 16B||Central West v Ringers||Under 14B||Valleys v Benderoo|
|11am||Under 16B||Brothers v St George||Under 14B||Roma v Wandoan|
|11.20am||BYE||Under 14B||Caloundra v Redlands|
|11.40am||Under 14B||Ringers v Goondiwindi||Under 14B||Central West v Carnarvon|
|12pm||Under 14B||Valleys v Roma|
|12.20pm||Under 14B||Redcliffe v Central West|
|12.40pm||Under 14B||Sharkies v Redlands|
|1pm||Under 14B||Brothers v Caloundra|
|1.20pm||Under 14B||Benderoo v Carnarvon|
|1.40pm||Under 16B||St George v Redcliffe|
|2pm||Under 16B||Central West v Mitchell|
|2.20pm||Under 16B||Brothers v Redlands|
|2.40pm||Under 16B||Ringers v Hervey Bay|
|3pm||Under 16B||Goondiwindi v Red Bulls|
|3.20pm||Under 14G||Team 1 v Team 2|
|4pm||Under 16G||Team 1 v Team 2|
|4.45pm||Under 14B||Grand Final|
|5.15pm||Under 16B||Grand Final|
|5.45pm||Under 18B||Brothers v Ringers|