Australian soccer legend Paul Wade is coming to Forbes this month.
The retired Socceroo will feature at a dinner and event at the Forbes Services Memorial Club on Saturday, June 29, raising funds for children's leukaemia research.
The evening is one part of a huge weekend of soccer at the Botanical Gardens, with representative games on Saturday and a junior gala day Sunday.
Forbes soccer's Doug McKenzie says it's a very busy month for the sport in Forbes, and it kicks off this weekend.
In a first for the town, this Saturday sees Forbes host junior representative games between Western Mariners and Hakoah.
The Western representatives will meet the Sydney club sides in the Under 9s, 10s, 11s and 12s at Botanical Gardens.
Their games will start at 10am and 11am.
While the Western team draws players from a region spanning Young to Dubbo, Lithgow to Forbes, our local players are well represented.
Ace Hancock, Eli Gharib and Josie McKenzie play with the Mariners in the Under 9s; Karma Dechen in the Under 11s and Samuel Motley in the Under 12s.
McKEnzie said the squad has had a full-on schedule of training and competition since March.
The juniors participate in evening training sessions in Forbes and Orange during the week, and spend their weekends travelling to Orange, Bathurst or Mudgee to compete in regional games against sides including Sydney United, Bankstown, Southern Districts and Hawkesbury.
The Mariners meet each side once during the season, and McKenzie expects the visiting Hakoah side to be competitive.
"It's the first time we've had them out here," said McKenzie, who coaches the Mariners Under 9s.
"There'll be about 70 players each (club)."
The same numbers, along with families, are expected when the Mariners meet St George here on June 28.
Wade speaks at the function at Forbes Services Memorial Club that night, and hundreds of players descend on the Gardens grounds Sunday for the annual gala day.
McKenzie says it's a huge boost for the town, and the opportunity to offer Forbes as a venue for this type of event will continue to grow as the number of players competing at a representative level increases and facilities are improved: work is underway on $600,000 in new amenities at the grounds.
Tickets for the event with the Socceroo are $10 online via eventbrite.com.au
Dinner and drinks will be available from the club and the night will include a fundraising auction of soccer and sports prizes.
For more information, contact the Forbes & District Soccer Club Incorporated on Facebook.