Legends chasing a win
LISMORE City Council's Lismore Legends team will have its work cut out when it takes on the African All Stars in a friendly soccer match at Crozier Oval on November 9.
Despite an improved showing last year, the city council team is yet to win a game in its annual match against Lismore's African community.
The Council's community services co-ordinator, Annie McWilliam, said the game evolved out of refugee week commemorations.
"It began four years ago as a community development project council was running in the early days when most of the refugee community in Lismore was just arriving," she said.
"It was really just council wanting to have a fun opportunity to engage with what was at that time the Sudanese community, but now it involves the much-wider African community."
The council's event co-ordinator and key midfielder John Bancroft said soccer was a game that crossed cultural boundaries.
"It's just something everyone likes on both sides of the fence and it takes that fence down, I suppose, in a funny way," Mr Bancroft said.
Captain of the African All Stars, Gabriel Thiongkol, 23, came to Lismore after 11 years living in a Kenyan refugee camp.
At two metres tall, Mr Thiongkol's muscular physique seemed to intimidate his more desk-bound opponents from council.
"Yeah, all of us are very fit," Mr Thiongkol said.
"We can run alright but the problem is we need to practise together and work on our teamwork because that's the way to win."
Mr Bancroft admitted his opponents were young and fast but he said the Legends team was "old and cunning" and determined to win its first match.
"The game is played in good spirits though, so it's all about the fun," he said.
The main game kicks off at 5.30pm, preceded by a social match commencing at 4.45pm.
All are welcome to attend the free event with a barbecue and refreshments provided.