Jarrod Basger has been selected in Australia’s squad to compete at the Futsal World Cup in Thailand
“Everyone dreams when they’re a kid to represent their country – in a World Cup … and I’m going to get the chance to do that!” said an ecstatic Basger said this week, ahead of the team’s departure this weekend.
The Qantas Futsalroos have been drawn in Group D for the tournament. Their opening match is against Italy on Friday 2 November (kick-off 5:00pm local, 9:00pm AEDT), followed by Mexico Monday 5 November (kick-off 5:00pm local, 9:00pm AEDT, and Italy in their final group match on Thursday 8 November (kick-off 5:00pm local, 9:00pm AEDT).
“We’ve got a tough group,” Sydney-based Jarrod explained. “We’ll hopefully play a couple of good friendlies before we start, to prepare. We want to progress. That’s the aim.”
Jarrod and his teammates have bunkered down to prepare for this massive event – Australia’s first World Cup since 2004, and the first since the country moved into the Asian Football Confederation – enduring a full-time load in and amongst their ‘part-time’ status.
“We’ve been training Wednesday, Saturday, all day on Sunday, with gym sessions on Tuesday and Friday, with our Aussie fitness trainers. Then on Monday I train with Maccabi, on Thursday, with Dural (futsal club).
“It’s been pretty full-on; any free time I’ve spent training, on the court or at the gym.
“It’s been enjoyable, something we’ve all been looking forward to.
“But it’s been tough with uni; not much spare time. I’ve been trying to eat well – I love me junk food so that’s been difficult! … but in the end it’ll pay off.”
It’s a remarkable moment for Maccabi sport when a national team list is distributed to the country’s media and on official websites, with the name Maccabi Hakoah as one of the teams represented.
That’s something not lost on Basger, whose most recent club stint has been with the Dural futsal club because of a requirement for all Australia players to compete in the higher Premier League competition (Maccabi is in the division below).
“I was the one that chose to have Maccabi there (beside my name), when I was asked,” Jarrod said.
“Someone once told me you always need to remember where you came from.
“Maccabi will always be that place for me”.
The team’s progress will be screened live on SBS2 television. , starting on Friday 2 November.