Canterbury Cup NSW will tap into nostalgia for South Sydney Rabbitohs fans with seven games to be played at the historic Redfern Oval in 2019.
Rabbitohs fans get to rewind the clock and re-live the past thanks to the club’s inclusion in the newly re-branded Canterbury Cup at their spiritual home – which has also undergone a name change to the Metricon High Performance Centre.
To add to the historical rebirth, Rabbitohs junior Yileen Gordon has returned to the club as their Indigenous Youth mentor, but will also strap on the boots in the Canterbury Cup NSW.
“It’s going to be great for young and old fans who might not be able to get out to ANZ (Stadium) and come to Redfern and enjoy a great day of footy,” Gordon said.
“As a young player coming through the Souths juniors I was pretty lucky to get a spot there and to have them back at Redfern Oval is massive.
“(We’re) trying to recreate that home ground advantage at Redfern Oval, I’m looking forward to a big year.
“We’ll re-live the moment.”
While NRL’s South Sydney kicks off their season against Sydney Roosters at the SCG on Friday 15 March, the Canterbury Cup NSW side will open their season at the club’s spiritual home.
Two foundation clubs will come together to play at a historic venue that is sure to get the blood pumping when Souths host the North Sydney Bears on Sunday, 17 March.
For those that can’t make it, the game will be broadcast on Channel Nine.
“We start there calling outside on Channel Nine,” new lead commentator Jamie Soward said.
“I love seeing all of the foundation clubs, some of my best trips are watching Newtown and getting a steak sandwich.
“Yileen Gordon comes back into the fray, everyone knows what he means to South Sydney, he’s a local boy.”
Young guns Dean Hawkins and Connor Tracey are likely to start in the Canterbury Cup team to be broadcast on Channel Nine.
Tracey played in the Charity Shield in the absence of Adam Reynolds and made the competition team of the year last year, while Hawkins is knocking down the door after his first year of senior footy.
“They're as sharp as ever, it’s going to be good them playing off the back of us,” Gordon said.
“Young Dean was unlucky to pick up an injury in the ‘Return to Redfern’ but hopefully by (the time) Round 1 comes he’s going to be sharp and ready to go.
“I’m looking forward to playing with them and giving them tips and [sharing my] experience that I have with them.”