Australia make international debut

Blind football team travels to India and faces hosts in two games 17 Oct 2018
Seven man standing on an artifical turf football pitch

Australia's blind football national team competed in their first international event in India

By Keon Richardson | For the IPC and IBSA

“It was a great experience that I won’t forget. I want to get more women interested in blind football"

The newly-formed Australian blind football national team has reached another development milestone by successfully competing in their first international tournament in Kochi, India.

The Aussies made the trip to South Asia from 17-23 September and were thoroughly tested against their Indian counterparts in a series of joint training sessions and two matches.

Australia battled fiercely against India, showing a fighting spirit and raw desire to compete, but the hosts came out victorious 2-0 and 5-0.

Following the friendly matches, both teams participated in a combined training session, focusing on ball control, shooting, fitness and conditioning. The trip concluded with an exchange of gifts and national team shirts.

Dave Connolly, Australian National Team Co-Ordinator, felt the trip was a progressive learning curve:

“We had a great time in Kochi. We had two tough games, but the players and coaches have learned so much. We will host four national team camps in 2019 for our debut at the IBSA Blind Football Asian Championships, which will provide us with an opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.”

Among the five Aussie players was Shae Skinner, the only female representing Australia during the international matches. Shae has been part of all the Australian blind football camps this year and feels honoured to achieve her childhood dream of representing her country.

“It was a privilege to be selected for the national team’s trip to India,” she said.

“It was a great experience that I won’t forget. I want to get more women interested in blind football so we can create the first Australian women’s blind football national team.”