One of the most exciting rugby league competitions in the region is on at Caltex Park this weekend with Dubbo Waratahs hosting its annual Aboriginal Knockout.
With everything to play for in each match, and matches being played in a shorter amount of time, the Knockout always delivers brilliantly attacking and entertaining football.
But for many it is also a chance to honour family members and that’s what the Nugget Hill Memorial side will be doing.
Coached by Dylan Hill and made up of ‘Nugget’s’ family members and close friends, the side is out to go one better than last year on Saturday, where it lost the grand final.
“It’s just this time of year where you play with your mates, your family and people from your community,” Hill said in relation to the importance of the Knockout.
“We’re just the Hill family and people who have played with us in the past.
“It’s a memorial team for my Pop so there’s lots of people who meant a lot to him.”
Unfortunately for the coach, he will be unable to play as he awaits knee surgery following another serious injury late on in 2016 while playing for Macquarie in Group 11.
Hill confesses his career is in the balance as he needs another knee reconstruction and said competitions like the local Knockout are ones he wishes he could play in the most.
“It’s probably the one game or competition that will hurt the most while sitting on the sideline watching,” he said.
“But luckily I got to jump on board and be coach so it’s good to stay involved because it means a lot.”
Each team which take parts is almost certain to stacked with talent but Hill’s side looks a real contender.
Westside duo Travis and Kieran Hill will provide plenty of creativity while Macquarie duo Michael and Wade Peachey add some real physicality and impact up front.
Fellow Raiders Phil Combridge is certain to be a real workhorse in the forwards and help create space for the likes of EJ Fernando and the precociously talented Kotoni Staggs to capitalise on.
A familiar face will also be up front with former Macquarie Raiders and Wentworthville forward Moses Manu making the trip back to Dubbo to play for the Nugget Hill side.
“It’s just unreal,” Hill said of playing at the Knockout.
“There’s a lot of young fellas playing and there’s a lot of potential in the Knockouts. Not just the Dubbo one but Walgett too and the main NSW one and the Murri Knockout in Queensland.
“It would be good for scouts to come out and see the talent.”