National glory is on the line this afternoon when Victoria takes on NSW Sky in the final of the Para Football Championships.
The Victorian state team consists of players with Cerebral Palsy, Brain acquired injuries, and Stroke related symptoms.
Matches are modified to play 7-a-side and 30-minute halves with players classified into three categories depending on their ability.
Victoria Sharon Wong said, “There is no other alternative” other than winning the national crown for the Victorian squad.
“Coming in we set our goal of making the final and we have done that,” she explained.
“We are here now, so we will do everything in our power to win it all.”
Victoria started their campaign with two matches on September 24 against South Australia and NSW Sky.
“We won our first game 10-2 against South Australia, which was a really strong win,” Wong said.
“We then lost to NSW Sky 5-1, it was a really hot day with a tight turnaround, I think the players were wrecked after the first game.
“It was 28 degrees; I don’t think we had climatised ourselves to the conditions.”
Wong said the team was raring to go in preparation for the final, seeking revenge against NSW Sky for their defeat on day 1.
“We are a couple of days in, so a couple of players are starting to feel fatigued, but with the finish line in sight, we are ready to go,” she said.
“It is supposed to be overcast with a cool breeze, which is probably more our type of weather.”
The ample victory against South Australia was a personal highlight for Wong, demonstrating the teams’ cohesion.
“The first game was really great for us because we were able to get everyone on the pitch,” she said.
“We scored 10 goals and had six different scorers which show we are not a team of superstars; we are a superstar team.
“Seeing all the different teams at the championships, we definitely have the best team culture, we are the most bonded.
“We really like to drill that team-first mentality into the players.”
The Victorian side reached the final with an impressive 3-2 victory over West Australia.
CommBank Pararoo Joshua Beekes opened the scoring with a cracking in the first minute and then the Victorians quickly added two more goals in quick succession to set up a commanding lead.
Connor Bunce kept West Australia in the hunt with a stunning left-foot strike and then he gave his team hope in the final minutes with another goal, however it wasn’t enough as Victoria advanced to the final.
In 2019, NSW claimed their 15th title since the inception of the championships in 2004, while Victoria bowed out in the third-place play-off.
The Grand Final Kicks off at 2PM, to tune in visit the link below.
Grand Final Stream
436 St Kilda Road
Melbourne, VIC 3004
(Melway Ref: 2L A5, Map)
PO Box 7488
Melbourne VIC 3004
Phone: (03) 9474 1800
Fax: (03) 9474 1899