The organiser of the traditional Boxing Day match between an Aberdeen Select and an Aberdeen Exiles team has promised the game will have two strong teams, honouring the memory of the two Aberdonians who created the 86-year-old fixture.
Jim Sugden, of the Gordonians club, said: “I am privileged to be in charge of the Exiles team for the Rubislaw Boxing Day game.
“It will be keeping alive the innovative thinking of Doug Cochrane and Tommy Robertson, two homesick Aberdonians who met in the Grill Bar in 1930 in Savoy Hotel, London, and dreamed up the fixture. Their initiative is alive and well.”
Sugden will lock horns with his own coach Ryan Morrice, who is in charge of the Select team which includes players from leading north-east club Aberdeen Grammar, as well as Aberdeenshire, Gordonians and Aberdeen Wanderers.
“It is to the credit of both Grammar and Aberdeenshire that in the middle of a hectic season they should be able to provide players for a friendly game,” said Sugden, whose own club will have a crop of players from its promotion-seeking side in the select squad. Some 11 players from the home club Grammar will play, including the half back pairing of Sam Knudson and Andrew Ovenstone, and last Saturday’s try heroes at Howe of Fife, Robin Cessford, Tom Alpin and Dominc Wallen. Shire players will include the exciting talents of winger Quinn MacDonald, who also scored last Saturday, and brothers Mark and Greig Ryan, formerly of Ellon. But it is the Exiles team which will excite the interest of the large crowd expected to attend the Rubislaw game on Monday.
“We will have players from the Manly club in Sydney in the shape of the father and son Doug and Cameron Signorini. Brothers Peter and Ranji Jericevich, originally from the Garioch club, will also play.
“Henry Nagel is jetting in from Houston, while Daniel Rouse and Duncan Falconer up from London with Cambridge blue Jamie Gilbert.
“Sky TV Club will also be represented, as will Premiership club Watsonians with Jamie Niven.”
The game which kicks off at 11am will be refereed by Frank Selbie, from Wanderers, who will have the task of refereeing his two sons Frank and Gavin who will be turning out for the select side.
“It promises to be a great day, thanks to the vision of Cochrane and Robertson,” said Sugden, who has promised to make an appearance at some point during the game.