THE North Geelong Warriors Football Club will again host the Australian Croatian Soccer Tournament.
The event is among the largest community tournaments in the country. It is also the oldest national soccer competition still running in Australia, with next year’s event being the 46th time it will be held.
The teams that enter are not exclusive to Australia, as sides will travel from New Zealand, Germany, Canada and the United States.
With more than 1,200 participants involved, and about 10,000 spectators expected to arrive, the October 2020 tournament is predicted to draw more than $4 million in economic benefits to Geelong.
North Geelong Warriors president John Didulica said hosting the event was a great opportunity for the club and the city.
“The interest in the tournament compounds each year and we see it as perfectly aligned with our club’s own ambition to take transformative steps over the next 10 years.
“The tournament is an incredibly engaging event for every segment of the community and, if run effectively, can provide a much-needed economic boost for tournament hosts.”
In hosting the event, the North Geelong Warriors is partnering with other clubs in the region, local businesses and the local government.
City of Greater Geelong mayor Bruce Harwood said he was pleased the council could support the event.
“We’re rapt that Geelong has secured yet another major sporting event, giving us the opportunity to showcase our clever and creative city to visitors from across Australia and around the world.
“We have every confidence that the North Geelong Warriors will be outstanding tournament hosts, setting a new benchmark for community engagement that future hosts will strive to follow.”
Over the years the tournament has expanded to include 60 teams and now includes male, female and masters divisions.
This is also the fifth time North Geelong Warriors have hosted the event, with the most recent time being in 2008.