As the football world focuses its attention on Australia to watch the best female footballers on the planet; two Sydney FC Members are preparing their own bid to win a World Cup.
10-year Cove Members Aiden Ware and Arron Devine are part of Australia’s Deaf Men’s and Women’s football teams who are hoping to compete at the World Cup in Malaysia in September, if they can raise the money.
Aiden plays as a striker while Arron is the Men’s team physio.
23-year-old Aiden was asked to a training camp in April and having been invited back for the July camp was selected for the 21-player squad.
“To represent my country and all those who believe in me on the world stage is a dream come true,” he said.
“It’s such an incredible honour and a privilege and I’m looking forward to every moment of it.”
The squad are training five times per week both individually with specific programs given to them by coaching staff and as a squad.
Having been unable to secure funding, each squad Member is looking to raise $5,500 each as they look to target $50,000 to cover the costs of flights, accommodation and travel in Malaysia.
So far they are only on $15,000 and are hoping donations build at pace with only a month to go to the tournament.
“Our participation in these events helps inspire and provide a safe space for Deaf athletes to compete and feel welcomed in the sport,” Aiden continued.
“Playing football is more than just playing a game, it is about the friendships and family forged along the way.
“Whether it is success or failure, it’s about doing it as one, putting in the extras for your teammates and the club. It truly is the beautiful game.”
The striker has been a Cove Member since the age of 10 and he credits his support of Sydney FC for his love of the game.
“The club means everything to me; it is hard to put into words. It has given me moments of joy in my darkest days, it has given me a family of people I would never have met before, but now I could not live without.
“From home games at Allianz Stadium to away days all over Australia and New Zealand, no matter where I am, I know I’m a part of something special with this Sky Blue family.”
As for their chances of winning, Aiden does not know but he is convinced of one thing.
“Every single one of us will go out and leave everything on the pitch. We go out there with a never say die attitude and it’s football, so anything is possible.”
To donate to their fund raising click here.