A bigger than ever Nutrien Ag Solutions Country Championships awaits this July following a record number of team nominations for the 2023 edition of the Championships.
Held in the middle of the July School Holidays, the 58th edition of the Championships will see 18 men’s teams compete across three Nutrien Ag Men’s Divisions. After covid forced the cancellation of the Championships in 2020 and 2021, last season saw only 12 men’s teams make the trip to Perth.
Excitingly, Esperance Districts Football Association (2009), Hills Football Association (2014), Onshore Cup Football Association (2005) and North Pilbara Football League (1990) all return to the fold after extended breaks away from the Championships.
After missing last year’s Championships both Great Northern and Great Southern Football League’s return to continue their long tradition of carnival football.
WAFC Manager Country Football South, Brent Sheridan, said the extra teams will bring a new level of excitement to the Championships. “To have 18 of our 25 senior affiliated leagues coming to the Championships this year is a fantastic result. We can’t wait to see what North Pilbara bring to the table as a participant for the first time in over 30 years and it is exciting to have the likes of Esperance and Onshore Cup returning after such a long time.”
With games held across venues in metropolitan Perth this year’s Championships will be the biggest in recent memory. In support of the increase in Men’s teams the CBH Group Colts Division has also been boosted with the return of a Kimberley Spirit side for the first time since 2012. Colt’s champions in 2011, the Kimberley side will bring considerable flare to the competition according to Sheridan. “At previous championships the Kimberley teams were always noted for the exciting, high flying brand of football that they play and we can’t wait to see what they bring to this year’s competition”.
Nutrien Ag Solutions Regional Key Account Manager Steve Wright is excited to see what the 2023 Championship will deliver. “We are looking forward to hosting what will be our 49th consecutive year sponsoring the Country Football Championships and it’s great to see a full field of 18 men’s teams”.
“It’s especially great to welcome back the North Pilbara Football League after some 33 years as well as those other Leagues that have worked hard to get their respective sides to Perth in 2023. We hope everyone will come along and enjoy what will be a great exhibition of Country talent on display across the Championships”.
The Ongerup Football Association returns to Division 1 of the NAS Championships following their Division 2 success last year. They will join Avon, Upper Great Southern and Peel in trying to dislodge the South West as Division 1 Champions.
Following a disappointing Championships campaign in 2022 which led to relegation, Goldfields will be looking to bounce straight back up into Division 1 but will face stiff opposition in the race for promotion. A six-team division will see Goldfields battle it out against Central Midlands Coastal, Central Wheatbelt, Eastern Districts, Mortlock and a returning Great Northern outfit.
A packed Division 3 is full of new faces with only Gascoyne and North Midlands having attended last years Championships. They are joined by Great Southern, Esperance, North Pilbara, Hills and Onshore Cup.
Fixtures for the championships will be finalised in the coming weeks with the CBH Group Colts to be held on 6 and 7 July with the Nutrien Ag Solutions Men’s Division played 7 to 9 July.