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Pararoos clinch silver in UAE
A 4-0 victory in their final match against Jordan has secured the Australian Paralympic 7-a-side Football Team the silver medal at the 2012 AFC Dream Asia Tournament in the United Arab Emirates.
After failing to qualify for the London 2012 Paralympic Games during last year’s World Championships, the Pararoos have set their sights on the Rio Games in 2016 and selected a youthful squad for the friendly tournament which concluded on Good Friday.
Assisted by seasoned veterans David Barber, Chris Pyne and Brett Fairhall, the emerging players relished the opportunity to wear the national colours and repaid the faith of selectors by performing brilliantly in each of Australia’s five games.
The Pararoos ended the tournament with four wins, one loss and the best attacking record after hitting the back of the net 26 times – three more than their closest rival.
Their only blemish came with a 4-0 defeat in the opening match against 2008 Paralympic bronze medallists Iran, who emerged undefeated from their five matches. But the fact that the Pararoos performed so well against them showed that the future is looking bright, given that the Iranians also won silver at the CPISRA 2011 World 7-A-Side Football Championships and are heavily favoured to again contest the medal rounds at London 2012.
With Iran and Australia filling the top two placings, Singapore (three wins, two losses), South Korea (two wins, three losses), United Arab Emirates (one win, four losses) and Jordan (five losses), followed.
The tournament continued what is an extremely busy period for the Pararoos.
Having returned home over Easter, the squad members are now back training with their respective State teams in preparation for this week’s National Championships from April 13-16 in Rockhampton, Queensland.
And then on April 27, the national squad will reform for a four-day camp before departing for the Ukraine to compete at an 2012 CPISRA International Tournament from May 1-10.
2012 AFC Dream Asia Tournament – United Arab Emirates
1 April 2012 - Iran 4 def Australia 0
2 April 2012 - Australia 8 def Korea 1
3 April 2012 - Australia 7 def UAE 1
5 April 2012 - Australia 8 def Singapore 0
6 April 2012 – Australia 4 def Jordan 0
By APC Media