Former Australian International Michael Buettner hails Coffs sports venues “as good as it gets”

The Ryde Broncos from Sydney scoring a try.


OVER 4,200 Oztag players and spectators descended to Coffs Harbour for the 2021 State Cup last weekend.

Australian Oztag Director of Coaching Michael Buettner hailed Coffs Harbour “as good as it gets”, when it comes to sporting venues.

High praise coming from the former Australian Rugby League international and Parramatta Eels five-eighth.

“I’ve played here as a player, the fields are terrific, the venue is sensational, we always look forward to coming here and the hospitality is always outstanding, Coffs Harbour is as good as it gets,” said Buettner.

The major honours in the State Cup were dominated by Sydney teams who took out the men’s and mixed open finals.

Homebush 1 won the men’s open final, defeating Coast 1 by 2-1, Souths won the mixed final defeating St George 3-2, whilst the Central Coast topped division one in the women’s open.

Tournament Director Bill Harrigan, echoed the sentiments of Buettner, saying, “It’s a fantastic venue.

“This year we have a record number of 221 teams travelling from ACT in the south, the Northern Rivers in the north and Tamworth to the West, “ said the former NRL referee who set a record of officiating 393 first grade NRL matches spanning 18 years.

Oztag has a rich 17 year history in Coffs Harbour, which currently holds four major events at the Stadium and Leisure Park annually, providing a sizable injection of income into the local economy.

“Each tournament brings in 3 to 4 million dollars and we come here four times a year which is around 15 million dollars per year into the local economy.

“As you can see, every field is in use and hopefully the fields at Bruce Barnier will not be turned into an athletics venue as this will have a significant impact on hosting major sporting events.

“Those nine fields are critical, they are sand based so they drain easily which makes a big difference holding the tournament especially in we weather, York Street would be a much a better place to put an athletics venue and impact less other sports,” said Harrigan.

Harrigan shared his preparation for the tournament which could be an opportunity for Coffs Harbour tourism to explore.

“The journey to Coffs Harbour is special to me, I get on the train in Sydney and for nine hours I don’t look at the phone, I get all of my work done, read a book, watch a movie, the scenery on our east coast is stunning, it’s a real delight.

“Nine hours later I walk to my accommodation at the Jetty with the tournament preparation complete, feeling refreshed and ready for the weekend,” said Harrigan.




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