Helal Wreida and Robert Mace to represent Australia at a futsal tournament in Rio
Schoolyard soccer has landed two East Hills Boys’ High School students the opportunity to play on the world stage after they won selection to play in Brazil in August.
Helal Wreida and Robert Mace will represent Australia, with Mace as the goalkeeper and Wreida in the defending role, in a futsal tournament in Rio de Janeiro.
Their selection follows the school’s classy performance in a southwest Sydney competition in which it finished second.
Their final chance came after a NSW All Schools challenge in Brisbane in October validated their talents and secured them a chance to play overseas next year.
Mace, a year 9 student, predicts Brazil will be Australia’s fiercest rivals.
“Brazil’s pretty good, soccer’s their national sport; everyone plays,” he said.
Mace plays defender for his weekend club the Bankstown Strikers and only took up futsal – a variation of soccer which is mostly played indoors – last year.
The school’s futsal coach Jason Bardas has instilled his faith in Wreida and Mace.
“They’re both incredible. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be in a national team. They’re both pretty impressive to watch,” Bardas said.
He also thinks Australia has the might to outclass their international rivals, thanks to the East Hills contingent.
“If they’ve got Helal and Robert, they’ll give them a good run for their money.”