The blind football team at the South Melbourne Football Club put in a dominating performance to defeat Brisbane Olympic FC 2-0 at The Hangar.
The National Blind Football Series kicked off in Melbourne this weekend marking the first ever competitive blind football match in Australia. South Melbourne’s Brendan Spencer was aggressive in the attacking half for the victors with a stunning display of foot work and free kick taking.
Spencer hit the woodwork mid-way through the first half with South holding a majority of possession thanks to Nathan Letts and Amir Abdi in the midfield. After the break South continued to pile the pressure on the Olympic defence earning repeated corners and scoring opportunities.
The first goal of the match came with Spencer dribbling past three defenders, his shot unable to be held by the Olympic keeper and the ball rolling across the line. His second just a few minutes later from a free kick flew through the four-man wall into the bottom right of the net.
In the final minutes Brisbane Olympic secured multiple corners trying to get themselves on the scoresheet. The efforts of defender Brad Pinkett and keeper Nathan Meneses held strong walking away with a clean sheet.
The two goals delivered South Melbourne a resounding victory. The team recording a win in the inaugural match of the National Blind Football Series.
Speaking to smfc.com.au, Brendan Spencer said “It was a hard-fought match against Olympic. The skill, the intensity, the camaraderie really showed through with the way we supported and encouraged one another. I am really proud of myself in being able to score those two goals and it has shown the hard work I’ve put toward the game in the gym and on the training track has really paid off.”
Team Captain Amir Abdi reflected on the support from the club saying “South Melbourne has been a great support to us. They see us as friends and members of the club, giving us a real sense of belonging. We can socialise together, attend events at the club and have them come and watch us play. It gives us energy to keep trying, get better and have a good future for Australian blind football.”
“I am proud of what South Melbourne has been able to achieve through its all abilities football program. We recognise the importance sport can play in everyday life, bringing people from different walks of life together through football and we aim to provide an inclusive environment around the club to achieve this. Our all abilities program started four years ago with our powerchair team and last year expanded to include blind and vision impaired football. There have been many successes to the program the latest of which we’ve seen this weekend making history by participating in and winning the first match in the National Blind Football Series.” said South Melbourne FC President Nicholas Maikousis.
The Series returns to Melbourne in July where South and Olympic will face off once again. The series and the accompanying national training camps are preparing the players who travel to India in October to compete in the Asian Cup.
You can read more about the South Melbourne FC blind football program here: https://www.smfc.com.au/blind-football/