THROWBACK THURSDAY: Cessnock hosts Japanese football team during 2015 Asian Cup

EXCITEMENT: Japanese football star Keisuke Honda holds Ally the Wombat aloft at the football team's farewell function at Cessnock Sportsground on January 8, 2015. Photo by Krystal Sellars, The Advertiser.
EXCITEMENT: Japanese football star Keisuke Honda holds Ally the Wombat aloft at the football team's farewell function at Cessnock Sportsground on January 8, 2015. Photo by Krystal Sellars, The Advertiser.

The news last week that Australia and New Zealand will host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup was met with excitement from Hunter football fans.

And Cessnock will be part of the action as a home base for a team, just as it was for the Japanese men's football team in the 2015 Asian Cup.

Cessnock hosted the Samurai Blue for the first week of January 2015, with the star-studded squad holding training sessions and a match against Auckland City at Cessnock Sportsground (which drew a crowd of 3000 football fans).

Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent said the announcement that the town will once again provide a home base for an international football team was "fantastic", following the success of the Japanese team's visit.

"We look forward to working with the organising committee to fulfil our role as a pre-training host," Cr Pynsent said.

Take a look back at photos from the Japan vs Auckland City game, and the team's farewell function at Cessnock Sportsground, in our throwback gallery below.

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