With only a Few weeks until NSW Thunder kick off their 1st A.F.C Club championship campaign in Isfahan, Iran, The team has been announced with the 14 man squad travelling to Isfahan.
Coach Jamie Amendolia has selected Peter Spathis, Dylan Maloney, Toby Seeto, Danny Martinez, Tuan Cao, Andrew Paine, Adrian Vizzari, Roberto Maiorana, Josh Da Palma, Miles Downie, Andres Gomez, Chris Zeballos, Marino Musumeci, Shervin Adeli. From the initial list of 20 players the 6 who missed out will be on standby in case of injuries.The squad has a number of new faces with 16 year old Shervin Adeli getting an opportunity to move up to the men’s side as he has impressed during training and matches during the selection process.
Jamie Amendolia said,” The final 14 players have now been informed of the position to represent NSW in Iran. Over the last 10-12 weeks the players have trained very hard and their commitment to the sport and program has been nothing short of exceptional, making the final decision a very hard one to make. Due to injuries, work commitments and personal reasons some of the more experienced players were not able to make themselves available for selection. We have also had to add and bring the squad up to 14 players including 3 goalkeepers in accordance with the regulations of the tournament. Some may say that this is a changing of the guard for the sport of Futsal in NSW. It will now give us the opportunity to bring some fresh faces onto the international scene, and it gives me great delight to be able to do this. It is my hope that the Futsal community gives its full support to these players in the weeks to come as they endeavour to compete with the best club teams from Asia. ”
NSW Thunder has been drawn in Group B with Port Authority (THA), Wuhan Dilong (CHN), Pro’s Café (LIB), and Al Sadd (QAT). It will be a good test to see where Australian Futsal is at, and will be an invaluable opportunity for this side which are set to create a piece of history being the first Australian club side invited to this prestigious tournament.
Jamie Amendolia said, “Some may say that we received the easier group of the two, but when analysing the teams this is not the case. All of the teams that we will be competing against play in professional leagues in their respective countries. They are afforded the luxury of purely playing Futsal as a profession. They are also able to train 8-10 times a week and develop as Futsal players.
Port Authority of Thailand currently has 3 players from the Thai national team. Over the last few weeks they have also been trying to buy international players for this tournament. Wuhan Dilong will be a very hard team. They have just completed their national league which consisted of 56 rounds, in which they scored something in the vicinity of 350 goals. Their team consists of 8 current Chinese national players who just competed in the last World Cup in Brazil. Pro’s Cafe also have 6 players who are in the national Lebanese team, who were knocked out of the last world cup qualifiers by eventual winners Iran in the quarter finals. Al Saad has also been out shopping. They have just signed 2 Brazilian players and 1 foreign Asian player to bolster their team, as they are allowed by the rules on buying import players for the tournament.
We will be not be underestimating any team in our group. It will be a massive challenge ahead, but I know it is one which the players and myself and relishing. ”
Football NSW and its members wish NSW Thunder the very best of luck in Isfahan!
2009 AFC Futsal Club Championship match schedule:
16:30 New South Wales Thunder (AUS) v Wuhan Dilong (CHN)
11:30 Al Sadd (QAT) v New South Wales Thunder (AUS)
16:30 New South Wales Thunder (AUS) v Port Authority (THA)
11:30 Pro’s Café (LIB) v New South Wales Thunder (AUS)
16:30 Winner Group B v Runner-up Group A
19:00 Winner Group A v Runner-up Group B
16:30 Third-place play-off
All matches to be played at the Pirouzi Stadium, Esfahan. All kick-off times local.