The traditional curtain-raiser to the new season is set for Saturday 11 March as the men’s and women’s National Premier League teams’ dust off the cobwebs to officially begin the 2023 football season.
Deakin Stadium will be the venue for both matches, a back-to-back treat, as four teams with genuine title expectations for the forthcoming season in their respective leagues, will lock horns with silverware at stake.
The day will get underway with Women’s League Champions Canberra Croatia taking on the team that ended 2022 with two of the three trophies on offer in the women’s game, Canberra Olympic. Olympic won the Federation Cup and were winners of the Grand Final, defeating Belconnen United in both Finals.
Croatia are perennial winners of trophies in the national capital and are the current holders of the Charity Shield having trounced West Canberra Wanderers 6-0 in the season opener twelve months ago. But Olympic are potentially the favourites, a stacked squad with a smattering of new recruits, set for another tilt at the top.
In the men’s competition, the match up is the same as we see the league champions play the winners of the Australia Cup Qualifying/Federation Cup and the Grand Final, only this time it’s the Monaro Panthers who grabbed the latter double and Canberra Croatia the former.
Panthers romped to Charity Shield glory in 2022, their 7-1 annihilation of the Tigers a record score for this competition, but they face the most successful team in Charity Shield history in Croatia, the Champions having won the trophy three times.
Admission is a gold coin donation with all money going to the nominated 2023 charity which will be announced shortly.
Saturday 11 March 2023
13:30: Canberra Croatia v Canberra Olympic
16:30: Canberra Croatia v Monaro Panthers
ADMISSION: GOLD COIN DONATION