The 2022 National Para Football Championships kicked off yesterday on the Gold Coast, with our CommBank Pararoos and CommBank ParaMatildas in the thick of the action.
Read the full wrap of day one action!
With CommBank ParaMatildas Assistant Coach, Mel Andreatta, watching on, the first-ever all-female Capital Football side took on host Football Queensland in an exciting opening match.
Six capped CommBank ParaMatildas in the side, the Capital Football squad began their tournament with a strong showing against the Queenslanders, who are making their return to the tournament after an eight-year hiatus.
Football Queensland took a 2-0 lead going into the break, however, some positives for the side from the nation’s capital with 14-year-old Annmarie DeUriarte, making some impressive runs and shots on goal.
Keeper Katelyn Smith proved again why she is one of the world’s best goalkeepers, after being named goalkeeper of the tournament at the 2022 IFCPF Women’s World Cup earlier this year, saving multiple shots from a determined Queensland side, and holding onto a clean sheet in the second half.
CommBank ParaMatilda Charlize Tran during the National Para Football Championships (Photo: Ann Odong)
Despite defeat in the opening game, Carly Salmon played her first game of competitive football with the side.
The second match of the day against Football New South Wales Navy proved to be a tougher encounter with the final score 12-0. Despite the score line, the players continued to show their undefeated spirit in their attacking style and determination to make their mark on the tournament.
Karina Gregorian made her Para Football National Championships debut and played alongside the CommBank ParaMatildas for the first time.
CommBank ParaMatildas Head Coach, and Capital Football Head Coach, Kelly Stirton, spoke after the opening day of competition about her side’s results “This was a fantastic opportunity for the CommBank ParaMatildas players to come together and for us to see some emerging talent, in Annmarie and Carly.”
“While the results didn’t go our way, we are here to develop this fantastic team and make sure that other talented female footballers around the country can be empowered by our efforts.”
The Capital Football side play Western Australia tomorrow at 10:30am at the Gold Coast Performance Centre, with their opposition jam-packed with CommBank Pararoos.
On a perfect sunny day on the Gold Coast, Queensland returned to the 2022 Para Football National Championships, opening the tournament with a comprehensive 2-0 win over Capital Football.
A first-half brace from Hayden Bognar was enough to hold off the challenge from the all-female Capital Football team.
Captain Jared Larkins-Law was a standout for his side with his strong defensive skills and exceptional leadership.
The Victoria Paralympic Team were up next with a decisive win against Football South Australia, 12-0.
CommBank Pararoo Christian Bitsikas contributed with a first-half brace, while fellow teammate Joshua Beekes was on fire with three goals across both halves. Emerging CommBank Pararoo Kaylan van Heer also scored two goals, with Sabian Panozzo, Captain Angus McGregor and Adam Torey-Toth also adding a goal each to the final tally.
The third match of the tournament saw a defiant Football West take on Football New South Wales Navy, with only three goal scorers contributing to the strong 10-0 result.
CommBank Pararoo Connor Bunce replicated his IFCPF World Cup brilliance with a hat-trick in the first half. His CommBank Pararoo teammate, Allesandro La Verghetta was also on fire, scoring four goals for his state team. Powerhouse Chris Minutillo rounded out the goals with his own hat-trick.
Football New South Wales Sky took on Football Victoria in the fourth match of the tournament.
CommBank Pararoo Connor Marsh opened the scoring with a fantastic goal in the seventh minute. His fellow CommBank Pararoos teammates continued the goal fest, with Jack Williams scoring two goals in two minutes and eighteen-year-old Jeremy Boyce adding a final goal to the tally with minutes to spare.
Capital Football returned for their second match of the day taking on Football New South Wales Navy.
The New South Wales outfit was far too strong, piling on twelve goals, and keeping a clean sheet.
The talented Tomas Scotti was unstoppable, netting four goals, while Jaylan Martin delivered a hat-trick, his final shot hitting the back of the net in the final minute of play.
Ryan Conroy secured a brace, Nicholas Khamis made light work of a excellent pass for his first goal, and Goki Saito showed his skills with a stunner just before half-time.