Sporting Wheelies Michael Oxley, Queensland player David Barber and Frenchville’s Terry Kennedy are looking forward to the National Paralympic football championships at Rockhampton over Easter.
Sporting Wheelies Michael Oxley, Queensland player David Barber and Frenchville’s Terry Kennedy are looking forward to the National Paralympic football championships at Rockhampton over Easter. Allan Reinikka

Frenchiville firsts

THE FRENCHVILLE Sports Club has pulled off a few "firsts" by getting the green light to host a national tournament at Ryan Park.

Frenchville's sports manager Terry Kennedy said he was delighted to receive the news that the three-day Paralympic football competition would take place in Rockhampton next year.

"It is the first time it will be held outside one of the capital cities," he said.

Five teams will be involved in next year's event, with Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia competing.

The seven-a-side competition will attract about 100 people to Rockhampton but the one gaining the main bonus is Central Queenslanders, because many have not played football in front of friends and relatives.

Rockhampton's David Barber is one such player.

He is hoping to gain selection for Queensland, because his mother is yet to watch him in such a tournament.

The Queensland squad is yet to be selected and the man making such decisions is Kennedy, who is also the Queensland coach.

Kennedy has led Queensland to the final for the past two seasons, losing to New South Wales 2-0 two years ago and on penalties, after being at 1-1 after normal time, last year.

With next year's matches at Ryan Park, Kennedy is seeking another first, and that is for Queensland to win the tournament.

He believes home support will help lift the players who, after playing two games a day, are worn out when it comes to the final.

Even with the help of the crowd it will not be easy, with Queensland usually getting one training session prior to a tournament, whereas some of the other states train weekly.

Another incentive for players to perform is that the national championship acts as an opportunity for national selectors to view players.

Kennedy said a main reason the tournament was awarded to Rockhampton was having sponsors Thrifty Rental Cars, David Motel and the Frenchville Sports Club in place.

The seven-a-side competition will be played over the Easter weekend at Ryan Park.



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