After a bumper year at the Harrison Fields in 2018, our friends at Gungahlin United have put together their own McDonald’s Kanga Cup diary as they get set to do it all again this year.
Diary of a McDonald’s Kanga Cup Canteen
Gungahlin United Football Club (GUFC) played host to one of the 2018 McDonald’s Kanga Cup grounds. GUFC prides itself in undoubtedly being the busiest community sports canteen in Canberra and one of the busiest in Australia, with our seven canteen staff serving around 1,000 patrons each Saturday during the season.
Our canteen team have been together for 3 years and have seen everything possible when it comes to high volume service. When the cold hits the ACT there is nothing greater than a hot cup of coffee, a sausage sanga or one of our prize Grilled Troppo Chicken Schnitzel rolls with the Lot. With quality freshly cooked food on offer, and weekly surprises such as hot soup, banana cake, fruit muffins or slow cooked lamb and gravy, it’s no wonder the GUFC Community Canteen and GUFC 2018 McDonald’s Kanga Cup Canteen was voted the best canteen in the region.
The 2018 McDonald’s Kanga Cup was GUFC’s second year providing the canteen service and yet it still surprised us. The volume of people delighting in our goodies was incredible! We were so busy we almost didn’t have time to look up to smile at our customers! Almost. But the McDonald’s Kanga Cup crowds are so lovely we could never lose our smiles completely.
Diary of a McDonald’s Kanga Cup Clubhouse
The GUFC Harrison clubhouse is a large, welcoming and warm facility. We regularly had over 100 supporters, officials and players attempting to escape the -7 degree temperatures during the 2018 tournament. Visiting patrons are often surprised that GUFC welcomes everyone inside the Harrison clubhouse. Perhaps they think it’s for Gungahlin players or officials only? I guess other clubs and codes don’t offer this service. But we do. Everyone is welcome at Gunners.
Diary of a McDonald’s Kanga Cup Equipment Manager
Obviously, a football field does not get set up on its own and on a frosty Canberra morning the job can literally be numbing. It is with many layers of clothing that our volunteers get “Matilda” out of the shed at 6.00am to start driving nets, cones, flags and benches around the fields in readiness for the games. 2018 saw a variety of volunteers assisting with this job every morning including members of our 1st Grade Coaching team. While the job can feel extremely uninviting in the predawn dark, the rewards are obvious as the sun rises, and the kids start arriving to start their games. Plus of course a free bacon and egg roll and hot chocolate from Kev makes it all worthwhile.
Diary of Cultural Diversity
GUFC is a big club and Gungahlin is one of the fastest growing urban areas in Australia. We currently have over 70,000 residents in the ACT with over 45% of our population having BOTH parents born overseas. That makes for a very culturally diverse atmosphere. Inclusivity is one of our core values and we are proud to regularly host Korean teams who attend the McDonald’s Kanga Cup event each year. 2018 saw us hosting a bunch of teen boys from Seoul who were billeted out to generous families who opened their homes and hearts to share the Aussie football culture with our Korean friends. They, in return, got to share their football with us which was both fun and rewarding.
Diary of a McDonald’s Kanga Cup Storage Room
Yes, even our Store Room gets a diary entry because it was overflowing with 1,500 cold drinks and hundreds of non-perishable products which took 10 trips to the shops to gather. The attached photo is around 20% of what we provided. Our 3 commercial fridges and freezers were also packed to the rafters with 80 kg’s bacon, more than 1,000 eggs, 1,600 sausages, hundreds of kransky’s, frankfurts, pies, sausage rolls and too many other items to remember.
Diary of a McDonald’s Kanga Cup Canteen Manager
The day starts at 5:00am for Canteen Manager Kev and Events Manager Tanya, while the rest of the canteen team sleep in and join us from 7:00am. Preparation for a GUFC canteen day takes 4 hours, with ongoing prep during the day. The barbeque is pumping from 7:00am. We have a commercial-grade Bain Marie which holds more than 10kg of hot food at any given time. The 9-10 bread crates arrive at 7:30am.
The winter weather was very conducive to hot food and warm drinks. The coffee machine and bacon and egg rolls are the favourites first thing in the morning.
We thought we were well prepared for Kanga Cup given we’d done it all the year before, but we were mistaken. Canteen manager Kev had to go out during the day 4 times for extra products and bank rolls of coins.
The famous GUFC menu regularly surprises people. We have more than 30 items available to order. Our daily bread order alone is 9 bread crates and there is only 1 supplier in Canberra northside who can provide the volume required by 7:00am. During the McDonald’s Kanga Cup, we served more than 1,600 hot beverages, over 1,000 bacon and egg rolls, 1,600 sausages, thousands of bags of confectionary and chocolates, not to mention the slow cooked lamb and gravy rolls, pies, sausage rolls, kransky’s, hundreds of hot dogs, and so many toasties we lost count.
Are we doing it again in 2019?
Of course,we are! We wouldn’t miss it for the world.
For the 2019 McDonald’s Kanga Cup, preparation is well underway with just 2 weeks to go until kick-off. With even more food options and daily specials available, GUFC Canteen Manager Kev says, “We won’t be caught out this year”.
Famous last words perhaps? Maybe, maybe not. But we know one thing for sure, if we are caught out, we’ll quickly and quietly do everything in our power to fix it with a minimum of fuss to ensure nobody misses out on Gungahlin United’s watch.
We look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors again this year from around Canberra, Australia and the world. And yes, we’ll be hosting Korea again and look forward to the happiness they provide our host families.
If you’re in Harrison over McDonald’s Kanga Cup week, make sure you come and visit the best community sports canteen in Australia. Gungahlin United Football Club: Katoomba Street, Harrison. You won’t be disappointed. Service with a smile.