Hakan Canli and Matthew Hoole will take time out from their push for a third straight major premiership with Broadmeadow to take on some of the world’s best indoor soccer players.
Canli and Hoole will represent the Australian Futsal Association at The World Games 2013 in Cali, Colombia, from July 25 to August 4.
Futsal is making its debut as an exhibition sport at the The World Games, which is an international multi-sport event held every four years for disciplines that are not contested at the Olympics.
The World Games, first held in 1981, are organised by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee.
Canli and Hoole made the side, which is not the Football Federation Australia-sanctioned team, after helping Northern NSW Futsal to second place at the AFA national titles in Sydney in January.
Canli, 27, made the five-man team of the tournament after Victoria defeated NNSW 2-1 in the decider.
He, Hoole and fellow Magic player Daniel Casciaroli were then invited to attend a 45-man selection camp in Brisbane. Casciaroli did not make the trip, but Canli and Hoole trialled and were selected for the 14-man side.
Canli, who has been playing futsal since the age of 11, hopes the Colombian tournament opens the door to professional opportunities he missed when he was younger.
He was selected in an Australian under-18 side but could not make the trip due to the financial burden.
“My next aim is to get a contract overseas and play it as a job,” Canli said.
“It’s a big opportunity. There will be heaps of scouts and coaches there and in Europe futsal is a big thing.
“People live off playing futsal, especially in Spain, Italy and England.”
In contrast, Hoole, 21, is looking at the trip as a one-off.
Hoole is the brother of exciting Jets A-League prospect and Young Socceroo Andrew Hoole, who is also a long-time futsal player.
Matthew played for the past decade at the FFA nationals in Canberra but this year competed at the AFA tournament when the chance to go to The World Games arose.
“It was a tough decision to miss games for Magic, but I can’t pass it up,” Hoole said. “I didn’t want to look back and think what could have been.
“The competition is going to be a great experience, playing against all the countries over there that play all the time.
“The intensity should be really good.
“For me, it’s just for this one time, this one experience overseas.”
The team leave for Los Angeles in July to warm up in the US before the two-week event in Colombia.
Hunter and NNSW Futsal are holding a dinner on May 11 at the Hippocrates Function Centre in Mayfield to help raise money for the players’ trip.
Tickets are $60. For more information and bookings call 4947 3440.