South lift trophy in National Blind Football Series
Photos: Luke Radziminski Behind The Lens – LMR
Our blind team today were crowned Australian Champions in the National Blind Football Series.
by Sebastian Petrovic, IBSA Referee and former South Melbourne FC Senior Mens player
Firstly the big thank you must go to the behind the scenes hard work from the South Melbourne All abilities program. The club gives South Melbourne players a professional environment to develop their skills and confidence by creating training schedules and providing the resources for the Blind football team to develop and build ongoing connections and friendships through sport.
This was the second and final match in the series and the players had a mix of adrenaline, excitement and nervousness. Their actions on the pitch is the most important in their development and I could definitely see the huge improvements compared to their last match in May
This match had a lot of counter-attacks and intensity through both fifteen minute halves. The timeouts were crucial for both teams providing the players the opportunity to communicate, rest and reset. Brisbane Olympic FC had been breaking through on goals but lacked the final action to score. They had also given away three fouls early on for not communicating on the pitch which gave South Melbourne a lot of set free kicks.
Players on both sides experienced some injury clashes which were mainly off ball incidents. Referee timeouts were called to pause the time to assess each individual. The main thing as a referee in these matches is to tailor it to balance both competition and the educational development for all players and staff. It is important experience for the players enabling them to get through all the matches with no serious injuries and learn a huge part of the rules and fair play.
Being a Blind Football Referee is extremely rewarding for everyone involved and we all united as one to learn from one another. I’m proud to see these players develop and grow as both individuals and footballers. Each one oof themhad an opportunity to show why they should be selected for the Australian national team and do it the honest way through hard work and team work.
The goal of the National Blind Football Series was definitely Amir Abdi who had run on an angle losing a shoe and being under pressure from Olympic player Nazim while shooting in a low hard across goal keeper to make it 1.1.