This past September the Australian Powerchair Football Association National Championships were held in Brisbane, organised by the QPFA. It was the first occurrence of this event in Brisbane, and the competition was fierce from all parts of Australia and New Zealand.
Victoria fielded a relatively new lineup this year, with debutant Chris Kessaris and loan marquee Matthew Mallows teaming up alongside the experienced James North-Coombes, Jules North-Coombes, and Craig Kilby. A tough ask for the team as they were unable to train together before the tournament, but an excellent show of effort and determination throughout.
Victoria’s first game was up against a young Kiwi Green outfit, in which the VICS suffered a narrow 2-0 loss in a highly competitive match filled with a plethora of chances.
In their second game against a highly skilled Western Australia team, the VICS were comprehensively beaten 7-1 after taking the initial lead through a great goal by Matthew Mallows.
Up next, on the second day, was New South Wales, in which the Victorian team was unable to cope with the high speed and pressure of an extraordinarily well drilled and skilful NSW team, ending in a 17-0 loss.
A tough day for Victoria as they lost 11-0 to a very strong Queensland Cyclones outfit, however, defensive improvements were finally starting to shine through as the team began to play as more of a cohesive unit.
Day 3 started off with a tough game against Kiwi Red, who were having a fantastic tournament and were in scintillating form. A tough 6-0 loss, some very unlucky goals costing Victoria in a game which was highly competitive.
Victoria’s final game, and definitely their best, came against the QLD Barbarians. Both teams were playing for pride here, and it showed as the game was highly competitive and action-packed. Matthew Mallows scored the opener with a great piece of solo play before the Barbarians equalized after the young Jack Parry cooly slotted a penalty. Unable to capitalise on any of the chances that followed, both teams settled for a spirited 1-1 draw.
All in all a very tough tournament for Victoria, but a great show of competitiveness from everybody involved nonetheless.