Ultimate Guide: CommBank Pararoos v USA

​The CommBank Pararoos will open Football Australia’s 2023 calendar of international football with an international friendly against world number four, the United States of America, at Cromer Park, NSW.

It will mark Australia’s senior men’s national football team for athletes with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury, or symptoms acquired from stroke, first home international since 2019 when COVID- 19 resulted in a halt to international football.

Played at the home of Manly Warringah Football Association (MWFA) and Manly United FC, the international friendly will see some of the world’s best para footballers in action.

Legendary players will assemble alongside several talented debutants from around Australia for this World Cup re-match against the world number four.

With the squad set to head into camp on Saturday, 28 January, here is everything you need to know about the exciting international fixture.

Match Details

CommBank Pararoos v United States of America

Date: 4 February 2023

Location: Cromer Park, Manly

Kick-Off: 3.00pm (AEDT)

Pararoos

How to buy tickets

Tickets are available at Ticketek, with 100 per cent of ticket sales invested back into the CommBank Pararoos and nurturing the next generation of para footballers.

CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets now!

How to watch

In some historic news, the match against America will be broadcast live and free on 10 Play.

It marks the first time that a Pararoos fixture will be shown on commercial television.

Our opponents

The United States of America are currently ranked fourth in the world, and have been a familiar foe of the Pararoos (ranked 10th) in recent years.

In a competitive encounter, their most recent meeting saw USA run out 5-1 victors in the Pararoos’ second group game of the 2022 IFCPF World Cup in Spain.

The match did not lack a moment for the highlight reel, however, with Connor Bunce opening the scoring for Australia in spectacular fashion.

The Squad

Head coach Kai Lammert has selected an exciting 18-player strong CommBank Pararoos squad for February’s window.

Lammert has called up a host of familiar faces with history-making veteran captain David Barber, forward Ben Roche and midfielder Connor Marsh headlining the host of experienced names.

At the other end of the spectrum, several young players have been rewarded for strong performances at the 2022 National Para Football Championships with six uncapped players in line to live out childhood dreams.

Among the newest call ups are Victorian duo Kaylan Van Heer and Joshua Beekes with 16 year old Van Heer named the Nationals Male Young Player of the Tournament, and Beekes receiving the Nationals FT3 Player of the Tournament. Perth based defender Rafe Bacon and Canberra’s Luc Launder (Nationals FT2 Player of the Tournament) will also be vying for their first caps in a squad with representation from the West Coast to the East Coast of Australia.

CommBank Pararoos Squad | 28 January – 5 February 2023

Name

Position

Classification

Caps (goals)

Member Federation

Rafferty Bacon

Defender

FT1

0 (0)

Football West

David Barber

Defender

FT2

104 (70)

Football Queensland

Joshua Beekes

Forward

FT3

0 (0)

Football Victoria

Christian Bitsikas

Forward

FT2

0 (0)

Football Victoria

Timothy Blowes

Midfielder

FT2

2 (0)

Football NSW

Jeremy Boyce

Defender

FT2

5 (0)

Football NSW

Noah Bremmer-Bell

Midfielder

FT3

0 (0)

Football West

Connor Bunce

Forward

FT2

13 (7)

Football West

Daniel Campbell

Midfielder

FT3

19 (7)

Northern NSW Football

Alessandro La Verghetta

Defender

FT2

10 (2)

Football West

Luc Launder

Forward

FT2

0 (0)

Capital Football

Taj Lynch

Midfielder

FT2

18 (1)

Football NSW

Connor Marsh

Midfielder

FT2

31 (5)

Football NSW

Augustine Murphy

Forward

FT2

14 (1)

Football NSW

Benjamin Roche

Forward

FT2

58 (30)

Football Victoria

Benjamin Sutton

Forward

FT1

7 (0)

Football NSW

Christian Tsangas

Goalkeeper

FT1

3 (0)

Football Victoria

Kaylan Van Heer

Forward

FT1

0 (0)

Football Victoria

Our 2022 IFCPF World Cup

The CommBank Pararoos defeated Germany to secure a 11th-placed finish at last year’s World Cup played in Salou, Spain.

Despite an up-and-down campaign results-wise, the team performed admirably and plenty of inspirational stories of World Cup game-changers emerged:

CommBank Pararoo defender, Jeremy Boyce, was excited to be making his World Cup debut, but not expecting to play more than a few minutes. However, 11 minutes into the first match, Captain David Barber injured himself, and Jeremy came on to replace him. He went on to play almost every minute of the tournament.

19-year-old CommBank Pararoo Daniel Campbell had what he described as “the best day of his life” playing against Canada at the 2022 World Cup. He not only scored his first-ever hat trick, but he also made his debut as Captain. The Pararoos’ 22-year veteran David Barber handed Daniel the armband in an emotional sideline moment.

Pararoos

In 2019, 15-year-old Connor Bunce, who lives on a farm in Albany Western Australia, made his international debut against Canada on home soil. Three years later, Connor played in his first World Cup, opening the scoring for Australia against world number four USA, and again versus arch-rival Germany.

For the first time, World Cup matches were broadcast live on the Football Australia YouTube channel, with a total average of 3,500 viewers per match.

About CP Football

The CommBank Pararoos are Australia’s men’s national team for footballers with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury and symptoms of stroke.

CP football is a seven-a-side sport with smaller goals, 30-minute halves and no offside, where players are classed as FT1, FT2 and FT3 depending on how their disability affects a player, with at least one FT1 player and a maximum of one FT3 player required at all times.

Cerebral palsy (CP) describes a group of permanent disorders of the development of movement and posture that are attributed to non-progressive disturbances that occurred in the developing foetal or infant brain.

Motor disability can range from minimal to profound – from weakness in one hand, to an almost complete lack of voluntary movement.

Spastic hemiplegia, where one half of the body has difficulty with voluntary movement, is the most common presentation of cerebral palsy. In Australia, approximately 40% of people with cerebral palsy have hemiplegia, including some of our players.

Every 20 hours, an Australian child is born with cerebral palsy. It is the most common physical disability in childhood. There are more than 34,000 Australians living with CP.

Several legendary CommBank Pararoos, Benny Roche (59 caps), David Barber (104 caps) and Ben Atkins (75 caps) were all born with cerebral palsy.

Pararoos

Acquired brain injury (ABI) is any type of brain damage that happens after birth. That damage can be caused by an accident or trauma, by a stroke, by a brain infection, by alcohol or other drug abuse or by diseases of the brain like Parkinson’s disease.

Around 700,000 Australians live with an ABI, half of these are aged between 15 and 34. Approximately 30,000 Australian children live with an ABI.

Symptoms of stroke can include muscle weakness, paralysis, abnormal or lost sensation on one side of the body, difficulty speaking, confusion, problems with vision, dizziness, loss of balance and coordination.

1 in 6 Australians will have a stroke in their lifetime, including 600 children each year. Every 30 seconds, someone in Australia has a stroke. Australia has more than 420,000 stroke survivors, 30% of which are working age.

CommBank Pararoos Chris Pyne (104 caps) and Augustine Murphy (14 caps) are both survivors of brain injury.

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