Four Brazilians studying at Monash University proved their love for football by representing TeamMONASH(TM) at the recent Australian University Games(AUG).
Breno Gianotto, Joao Paulo Silverira, Leandro Cerqueira and Fernando Dias Billo are all playing for TeamMONASH(TM) in the first year futsal has been offered at the AUG.
Team Captain of the futsal squad, James Bernard, said all four were key players and explained how they came to be part of the team.
Another Brazilian student, Rafael Segat, had found the Monash Futsal page on Facebook just in time for the AUG trials. He was invited back for final trials, and brought Fernando along.
“I was then contacted by Leandro a day before the last trial asking if he could attend, and of course I wanted to see as many Brazilians in the team as possible,” Mr Bernard said.
Although Fernando stood out, Leandro was initially not included in the team. When the selection committee realised Fernando spoke no English, Rafael stepped in as interpreter and was included in the final squad for his skills in both translation and futsal.
Once the team started training, Fernando and Rafael mentioned a friend who wanted to come along, Joao Paulo Silveira.
“After just five minutes of seeing him play we realised he was going to probably be the best player in the AUG,” Mr Bernard said.
“Joao then spoke highly of a friend of his, Leandro, and recommended we have a second look at him. When these two played together it was dynamite and we signed him up instantly also.”
Unfortunately, the student who started it all, Rafael, was unable to attend the AUG.
With the help of the remaining Brazilian players, TeamMONASH(TM) Futsal went through the competition undefeated, winning the final 7-3 against the University of New South Wales team which boasted two Futsalroos (players who have represented Australia).
“When we combined Joao, Breno, Fernando and Leandro, they provided us with a solid foundation,” Mr Bernard said.
The students have continued playing football, participating in the Monash Champions Competition, in which the best teams from the University’s campuses play off for the champions’ trophy.
They also have their sights on next year’s AUG, when they want to retain the gold medal, encouraging the futsal squad members to keep up the training until then.
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