Less than a fortnight out from their long awaited historic Westfield FFA Cup match against Hellenic AC, the Borroloola Cyclones were confronted by a serious predicament.
The players from the remote Northern Territory community were facing the prospect of heading into their historic encounter against Hellenic AC without any boots after 20 pairs were stolen from the clubhouse.
Few players in the Cyclones side own their own boots and the club has been lucky enough to have several pairs donated to us over the years and stored in our football shed down by the school oval. Each session the players get down to the ground a little early to find a pair of boots that fit (or barely fit), lace them up and then start training.
“We had a break in at the Cyclones shed the other night and the majority of the senior boots were stolen,” Football Federation Northern Territory (FFNT) Program Manager Josh Smith explained.
“This left the Cyclones with literally no boots to play or train in for our upcoming match in Darwin.”
“The reality of it is that the club does not get enough sponsorship money each year to replace this gear as the cost of travel to each tournament is in the thousands.”
The club’s coach Mark Wakeling alerted FFNT who launched an appeal to try and ensure the Cyclones had boots to play in.
Enter Umbro. Informed of the situation, Umbro promptly arranged for 20 pairs of new boots to be sent to the Top End.
Now the Cyclones will have boots to play in as they make the 15 hour bus ride to the Northern Territory capital to play in the Westfield FFA Cup under the big lights of Darwin Football Stadium.
Furthermore, the South Australian football community, especially Port Adelaide Pirates, has also rallied together to donate boots to the remote community.
The small community of Borroloola is known as the heart of indigenous football and the Cyclones will be the first all Indigenous side to play in the Westfield FFA Cup.
The Borroloola Cyclones will take to the field against Hellenic AC tomorrow (Wednesday) night.