Ahead of the Paraoos first match against World Championship medalists Iran, head coach Paul Brown discusses the tournament and the new squad.
Ahead of the Paraoos first Match against World Championship medalists Iran, head coach Paul Brown discusses the tournament and the new squad.
The Paraoos have had an interesting couple of days in Dubai and the preparations for the tournament started with a light run.
However, the squad is missing a number of key players in Ben Roche, Sam Larkins, Scott Kennedy, Thomas Goodman and Beau Menzies, who have both turned their sights to athletics in a hope of getting a birth in the upcoming Paralympics.
With the absence of these players it has given a number of rookies a chance to prove themselves on the international stage, five of which will be making their international debut. Josh Seaman, James Turner, Michael Debenham, Connor Marsh and Ryan Kinner will all be wearing the green and gold for the first time.
"It is disappointing to lose some of the older, more experienced players for the tournament," Brown said.
"But it gives some of these youngsters, some of which are only 15 years of age, experience at this level. From a program point of view it also creates more depth to the program which at this point we need.”
One of the Pararoos bright new prospects is Connor Marsh from the western suburbs of Sydney, who will be making his international debut against Iran. Connor has been training with the national squad since he was 13 years of age, after Brown identified him playing in Penrith for his local club.
“Players like Connor, Ryan, Josh and James are the future of the program and we need to start developing them now for the next Paralympics," Brown said.
"This is a very young squad, but the experience will be invaluable to them especially as some of the older players approach retirement.”