Photo Gallery: Australian Canaries get ready to take on the Tractor Boys down under

Sydney's Centennial park - where the event will take place. Sydney's Centennial park - where the event will take place.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
9:36 AM

Kangaroos, koalas and now Canaries. A group of Norwich City supporters have started a fan group in Australia, about as far from Carrow Road as you can get.

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Now the Canaries Down Under have tracked down some Ipswich Town-supporting expats to be their opponents in the first ever Derby Down Under.

It will take place at Sydney’s Centennial Park on August 9 – the first Saturday of the Championship season.

Mark Larwood, co-founder of Canaries Down Under, said the 11-a-side fixture against rival fans would be “light-hearted”, raising cash and awareness for two charities.

But he hoped it would not be a g’day for the Tractor Boys on the pitch.

“Although it’s a friendly kick-about, there’s still local pride at stake,” he said. “It will be a good community event with a bunch of fans getting on together, and we will make a night of it.”

Asked if the Canaries Down Under could replicate the 5-1 scoreline the last time Norwich and Ipswich met, he said: “I will take any win, and we will give everything.”

And he joked: “We were surprised there were enough [Ipswich fans] to form a team.”

The 32 year old, who used to work at the ticket office at Carrow Road, launched the Canaries Down Under website in 2012 together with fellow fan Marcus Cannell, 41.

He had hoped to unite some of Australia’s Norwich fans and said he was encouraged by the response. Dozens responded online and 20 made the effort to attend the biggest meet-up so far.

The idea for the Derby Down Under came about as Mr Larwood knew an Ipswich fan living in Australia, and found Ipswich fans were also keen on the idea.

Supporters will fly in from cities across Australia and New Zealand – including Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide – for the match.

And they hope to raise funds for the Norwich Community Sports Foundation and Australian mental health charity Beyond Blue.

• To donate to the Norwich Community Sports Foundation, click here.

• To donate to Beyond Blue, click here.

• For more information about Canaries Down Under, click here.

Are you a Canaries’ superfan? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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