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Outback carnival keeps junior footy spark ignited

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.

For all the latest information, follow Adrian Vowles Cup on Facebook.


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