Home Pararoos international is Lynch's reward for never giving up

Taj Lynch remembers the time it would have been easy just to pack it all in and give up his dream of playing for the Pararoos.

The youngster suffered a serious injury to his affected side a few years ago which was a traumatic experience to deal with.

“The comeback could have gone one way or the other,” he recalled to Pararoos.com.au.

“I could have dropped off and given up but I ended up getting back to 100% and then kept training and kept getting further and all of a sudden I was at 150% of what I was.

“That was a big thing for me to truly understand how hard work can really shape you as a person and a player.

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“That injury was one of the best things for my football career because now I have been able to push myself further and understand that hard work will really get me there.”

And Lynch hasn’t looked back since.

The Engadine product has played 14 times for the Pararoos, including at this year’s IFCPF World Cup in Spain.

But this weekend he’ll get the chance to play on home soil for the first time when the Pararoos take on Canada at Cromer Park, the first time they have featured in Australia in 19 years.

“I know a lot of people who worked really hard to help me get where I am have always wanted to watch me play, it’s something they have only been able to do on TV and YouTube late at night,” Lynch said.

“So it will be awesome to have people be able to come out and be able to see that.

“I’ve played football three years with the Pararoos and I’ve been to almost every continent and one of the continents I haven’t played in is Australia.

“I think it’s pretty interesting that now I get to play in front of my family and friends. I think it’s very good.”

A strong crowd is expected on Sydney’s northern beaches and Lynch hopes to use the experience to help inspire both people with and without a disability.

“Every person, whether they have a disability or not, faces a large amount of adversity,” he said.

Taj Lynch warming up for a match during this year's World Cup in Seville, Spain
Taj Lynch warming up for a match during this year's World Cup in Seville, Spain

“Football is something that really brings people together and its seeing people come together and overcome adversity to play elite level sport in front of fans and family will really be powerful for other people with a disability to see that they can do that.

“They can overcome that adversity and achieve what they want to achieve.”

 100% of ticket sales from the match will be invested into the Pararoos, helping to ensure that there are continued opportunities for the squad.

Kick-off is at 5.30pm AEDT with tickets on sale now at pararoos.com.au

READ MORE: The importance of playing on home soil
READ MORE: FFA to host first Pararoos match on home soil since Sydney 2000

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Pararoos 14-Player Squad | Australia v Canada – International Friendly | Saturday, 30 November 2019 | Cromer Park, Cromer, NSW

Name (Cap)

State

International Caps (Goals)

Ben ATKINS (27)

New South Wales

70 (8)

David Barber (C) (1)

Queensland

99 (70)

Christopher BARTY (35)

Western Australia

33 (0)

Timothy BLOWES

New South Wales

0 (0)

Jeremy BOYCE

New South Wales

0 (0)

Connor BUNCE (55)

Western Australia

7 (4)

Daniel CAMPBELL (53)

New South Wales

13 (2)

Cosimo CIRILLO (49)

Victoria

8 (1)

Matthew HEARNE (46)

Victoria

20 (2)

Taj LYNCH (51)

New South Wales

14 (1)

Angus MACGREGOR (44)

Victoria

10 (1)

Augustine MURPHY (52)

New South Wales

9 (1)

Christopher PYNE (2)

New South Wales

102 (20)

Benjamin ROCHE (16)

New South Wales

52 (28)

Pararoos v Canada

Date: Saturday, 30 November 2019
Venue: Cromer Park (South Creek Road, Cromer, NSW)
Kick-off: 5.30pm AEDT
Tickets: Tickets on sale now via pararoos.com.au (100 per cent of ticket sales invested back into the Pararoos)