Aussie sailors triumph in US soccer challenge

Published on LEUT Andrew Ragless (author), ABIS Kathy Tuddenham (photographer)

Location(s): Darwin, NT

Topic(s): HMAS Coonawarra, Soccer

Captain of the Royal Australian Navy team at HMAS Coonawarra (left), Leading Seaman Matthew Jacques, and Captain of the visiting United States team, E3 Adote Akpabie from the USS Denver. (photo: ABIS Kathy Tuddenham)
Captain of the Royal Australian Navy team at HMAS Coonawarra (left), Leading Seaman Matthew Jacques, and Captain of the visiting United States team, E3 Adote Akpabie from the USS Denver.

Aussie sailors from patrol boat base HMAS Coonawarra have emerged victorious in a friendly soccer match against a combined United States Navy and United States Marine Corps team.

The Royal Australian Navy team accepted the USN challenge, which was issued when the Amphibious Transport Dock Ship USS Denver arrived in Darwin ahead of Exercise KOOLENDONG 2013.

Able Seaman Medic Adrian Argall said the he feared the worst with Denver's large compliment of highly trained and competitive sailors and soldiers.

“But the US players were high spirited and very friendly and it made for a fun match,” he said.

“We won the game a clear 5-4, but depending on who you ask, we may have beefed up our team with a couple of ‘borrowed’ Marine Corps players.”

“They are good sportsmen,” he said.

The USS Denver is currently alongside Fort Hill Wharf in Darwin, unloading personnel and equipment for the combined Australian Army and United States exercise.

Held at the Bradshaw Field Training Area, south-west of Darwin, Exercise KOOLENDONG 2013 will test the Australian and US forces ability to conduct a battalion-sized live-fire exercise in a remote and austere training environment.

Around 1000 Australian Army and US Marine Corps personnel will take part, including the US Marine Corps 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Okinawa, Japan, the current US Marine Corps Rotational Force-Darwin and soldiers from the 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment based at Robertson Barracks in Darwin.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20131182.