[Image: Football Federation Australia]
Queenslander David Barber has been named in the 14-player Pararoos squad to represent Australia at the World Championships Qualification Tournament in Denmark later this month.
Barber has captained the Pararoos for almost 20 years, an incredible stretch which included an appearance at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney.
The Rockhampton local will play a key role in attempting to qualify for his sixth World Championships, which requires a young Pararoos side to finish inside the top eight at the Qualification Tournament.
Pararoos Head Coach Kai Lammert described the squad as packing plenty of excitement.
“This will be one of the youngest teams we ever had with half of the players under the age of 18 and three players under the age of 16,” Lammert told footballaustralia.com.au.
“We’re all looking forward to the tournament in Denmark. It will be tough qualifying for the World Championships with only one camp in the lead up to the tournament, but I am confident we have assembled a very exciting Pararoos team who is well prepared and up for the challenge.”
— Pararoos (@Pararoos) July 15, 2016
The Australian Sports Foundation (ASF), which has played a significant role in helping the Pararoos to compete in Denmark, is delighted the squad has the opportunity to represent their country.
“The Pararoos fundraising project is a great example of the team, the FFA and the Australian sports community joining forces to ensure the Pararoos football program has a future,” said Sports Foundation Chief Executive, Patrick Walker.
“This is an important step, but they will need ongoing financial support so the program has sustainability and improved resources for the years ahead.
“The Pararoos are an elite team in their own right and are an inspiration to the Australian sports community. They are as dedicated as the Socceroos and Matildas and deserve ongoing support and we look forward to the tournament in Denmark in the coming weeks.”
The International Federation for Cerebral Palsy Football (IFCPF) World Championships Qualification Tournament will comprise 13 countries and run from 29 July to 7 August to determine which eight teams make it through to the 2017 World Championships in Argentina.
The opening ceremony and match will take place on 29 July, and will be streamed live as well as on demand on the tournament website.