‘They’re not going to get what they expect’: How Pararoos friendly will take football fans by surprise

Pararoos star Taj Lynch says there’s a surprise in store for the fans who flock to the Pararoos’ first game on home soil in 19 years this weekend.

Having not played in Australia since the 2000 Paralympic Games, the landmark friendly between the Pararoos and Canada will take place at Cromer Park on Saturday afternoon (5:30pm AEDT).

And Lynch has urged football fans to come along to see what the Pararoos are all about.

“They’re not going to get what they expect,” Lynch said.

“The perception of disability in sport can often vary, there’s a huge variation from Paralympic level to grassroots football for all programs.

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“I think they need to see we’re a competitive team of elite footballers that put in the hours, put in the hard work while doing jobs and (having) families, university and school.

“We’re not just bludging your money and rocking up to games, we’re putting in the hours so we can be elite.”

Those countless hours spent on the training track have translated into 99 international caps for Pararoos captain David Barber, who is set to make his 100th appearance in the green and gold against Canada this weekend.

Barber says he can’t wait to play his milestone match in front of a home crowd, which he hopes will turn out massive numbers.

“It’s going to be a great day at a great venue, and I cannot wait to play,” Barber said.

“If you’re a fan of football – if you’re a fan of good football – that’s what this team is all about.

“Just because we have a disability it doesn’t change the fact we play amazing football.

“We’re going to be playing against a world class opponent in our own backyard, and if you’re a fan of football and want to get out and support the green and gold then this is your chance to do it.

“Come down and check it out.”

The seven-a-side format of CP football will make for a unique and entertaining viewing experience for fans heading down to Cromer Park for their first taste of Pararoos action on Saturday afternoon.

And for those not knowing quite what to expect from the occasion, Pararoos goalkeeper Chris Barty says there’ll be plenty of passion on show, plus all the silky skills, committed challenges and high-octane drama you can expect from a game of international football.

“Seven-a-side football is fast, it’s high scoring, it’s hard tackling, it’s all the things we love,” Barty said.

“It’s skilful, and most importantly we’re passionate. We take no prisoners; it doesn’t matter where you’re from in the world.

“Certainly in front of a home crowd Australia will leave nothing out there on the park.

“You’ve got to get on down, yes you’re going to see some inspirational athletes that have overcome adversity to represent their country but first and foremost this is just entertaining football.”

 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)


International Caps (Goals)

Ben ATKINS (27)

New South Wales

70 (8)

David Barber (C) (1)


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)


8 (1)

Matthew HEARNE (46)


20 (2)

Taj LYNCH (51)

New South Wales

14 (1)

Angus MACGREGOR (44)


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)