COTC a unique opportunity

Maori Football NZ Men’s Head Coach Richard Kerr-Bell summed up the Trans-Tasman Clash of the Cultures initiative with one word – inspirational.

There are very few Maori footballers represented among the historic and contemporary figures that drive the key plot lines in the countries most played sport. The Clash of the Cultures gives an opportunity to change that.

“This initiative is inspirational with each player and their communities benefiting from a shared understanding of respect for people and earth, for ancient process and a philosophy that brings together rather than divides,” Kerr-Bell said.

“It is an opportunity for each nation/Iwi to express their status as people of the land, and whose way of seeing the world adds a richness, an authentic organic and unique dynamic to football in our respective countries which, given a chance could add incredible mana internationally,” 

The inaugural edition of the Clash of the Cultures, held in Auckland in 2018, reached International media including the BBC.

The Men’s side, known as Nga Tane Whanapoikiri won this fixture 3-2 in what was a typically hard fought Trans-Tasman battle. Kerr-Bell expects a similar contest to unfold on Saturday.

“I expect the game to be physical given its competitive nature and neither side wanting to go away with a loss.

“Two proud nations putting it all on the line,” he said.

Included in the Senior Men’s squad is Saint Lucia Lolohea, who captained the U-14 Boys in the 2019 edition.

“We have this year a mix of experience and young players ready to explode on the football scene; Every player will add something to the game,” Kerr-Bell said.

“Check your programme when you come to watch and bring some sunglasses because there is a bunch of bright talent on show!”

Ngā Tane Whanapoikiri – Aotearoa Maori Men

Luke Sutton (Tainui), Cody Rickard (Te Whanau Apanui/Tainui), Sean Clark (Te Ati Awa), Jeremiah Ruawhare (Tainui), Tainui Adams (Waikato/Ngāti Raukawa/Ki Te Tonga), Jayden Herewini (Te Aupouri/Ngāti Uenuku/Ngāpuhi/Ngātiwai), Machiah Papa (Ngāi te Rangi/Te Whanau A Apanui), Saint Lucia Lolohea (Te Aupouri), Paora Porter (Tainui), Izak Papa (Ngāi te Rangi/Te Whanau A Apanui), Caleb Southee-Sami (Tainui/ Ngāti Toa/Ngāi Tahu/Kahungunu Ki Wairarapa), Alex Mcgregor (Ngāti Porou), Mel Cropp (Te Arawa), Hone Fowler (Ngāti Porou/Ngāpuhi), Rhys Ruka (Ngāpuhi), Jack McQuoid (Ngāti Raukawa)

2020 Trans-Tasman Clash of the Cultures

Saturday 18 January
McLennan Park, Papakura, Auckland

10am – U14 Girls
12pm – Open Women
2pm – U14 Boys
4pm – Open Men