South Melbourne was crowned the first ever National Blind Series Champion following the second and final match of the series against Brisbane-based Olympic FC on July 23.
In a historic moment for blind football in Australia, the series is the first time two interstate teams have played off in a competitive setting.
The match ended in a tense 1-1 draw, handing South Melbourne a 3-1 victory over the series.
South Melbourne’s Aboi Amir and Olympic FC’s Azini Nizamuddin first-half goals ensured the teams went into the break locked at 1-1.
The spectators who filled out the Hangar in Tullamarine, the home of Essendon Football Club were treated to a tense second half with South Melbourne ultimately holding on to be crowned champions.
South Melbourne was victorious in the first fixture 2-0 with the player of the match Brendan Spencer showcasing his class with two impressive goals.
Earlier in the day, spectators witnessed the first-ever national women’s blind football match in Australia with players from Perth, Queensland, and Victoria.
The day kicked off with a kids come and try session which provided the opportunity for all children who live with vision impairment or blindness to have a kick in a fun and welcoming environment.
About Blind football
- Blind Football (B1) is an internationally recognised sport played at the Paralympics.
- It is played outdoors by blind and partially vision impaired athletes on a 40m x 20m pitch with side kickboards and a ball that has bells in it.
- There are two teams of five; four outfield players and a goalkeeper. The outfield players wear eye-shades to equal their sight and the goalkeeper can be fully or partially sighted.
- Each team has one goal guide who stands behind the goal, to verbally give instructions to score towards the goal.
South Melbourne FC Blind Football
The blind football program at South Melbourne FC is now in its second year. The club hosts fortnightly training sessions for its players between April and October.
The club also partners with Football Victoria to run free come-and-try sessions each fortnight for children and those who would like to try the sport for the first time or participate socially.
The next camp dates are Friday October 14 to Sunday October 16, located at the Hangar, home of Essendon Football Club in Tullamarine.
For more information email Amir Abdi, Blind Football Coordinator at email@example.com
If anyone would like to get involved as a volunteer for the camps, please email Dave Connolly at firstname.lastname@example.org.