COOLAMON would be willing to make an ANZAC Day round clash with Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong an annual event as they prepare to host the Lions at Kindra Park for the first time since 2019 on Sunday.
The Hoppers were dealt a big blow last year when their home clash against their arch rivals, and eventually the Riverina League season, was cancelled due to a COVID-enforced regional 'lockdown'.
The local derby is generally both club's biggest gate of the season, particularly on a Sunday when junior and senior football is played on the same day
Coolamon will wear special ANZAC guernseys, with the Coolamon RSL Sub Branch to hold a pre-game ceremony involving the football and netball teams.
Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes and Wagga Tigers will meet again on ANZAC weekend on Saturday afternoon at Mangoplah Sportsground, after they played a twilight fixture at Robertson Oval last year.
"I'd like to see it become an annual event, but it's up to Ganmain whether they'd want to do it too," he said.
"But we'd certainly be keen to do it every year and alternate it between our grounds.
"It's the biggest home and away game for both clubs during the year. It's always well attended and it's a stand-alone game on the Sunday this year.
The clash is one of four Sunday home matches for Coolamon this year, with Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes, Turvey Park and Narrandera also on the schedule.
"I think a combination of some Saturday home games and some on Sunday works pretty well for us," Buchanan said.
"They're usually popular. They're usually a junior and senior day, and almost all the teams are from the same two clubs."
Coolamon co-coach Jake Barrett said they're keen to put on a performance worthy of the occasion.
"It's something special playing in these jumpers and it's going to be a great chance to show respect to the past and present soldiers," Barrett said.
"Coolamon's been around for over 125 years now, and we've had plenty of players who have fought in wars. You never compare war to footy games, but we want to represent those people well and put on a good display."
The Hoppers have been forced into a late change, with veteran Jamie Maddox picking up a knee injury in last week's win at Narrandera.
Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong will welcome back established senior players Ben Walsh, Jesse Lander, Michael Rothnie and Kirk Mahon after they all missed the round one win over Wagga Tigers.
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