Monday, 5 May 2008

Canberrans aiming for Futsal World Cup

Canberrans Angelo Konstantinou and Trent Flanigan are in Bangkok, for the Futsalroos Asian Futsal Championships which starts on Sunday.

The Futsalroos must reach the Semi's to head to Rio, for the World Cup in October.

Danny Macor has retired and Matt Whyte has been left out, due to injury, non-availability or non-selection.

Interestingly Konstantinou, a keeper, has forced his way back into the squad after Coach Scott Gilligan had told him he was unfit earlier in the year.

Clearly the fitness campaign has paid off.

Anyone who has watched Angelo play indoor will notice the great versatility he brings to any team. At the National Championships in Canberra earlier in the year his own unique style was on show.

And the young kids, and old kids, loved it. His distribution from inside his own half was amazing to watch and gives his team an extra outfield player.

But probably gives his Coach a heart attack!

Anyway good luck to the Aussies and here's hoping they can get through. With the numbers of Aussies playing Futsal here's I'm expecting them to go pretty close to a World Cup birth.

October in Rio doesn't sound so bad does it!

FFA Release:

The Qantas Futsalroos will open their qualifying campaign for the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup on Sunday with Scott Gilligan's side looking to maintain Australia's record of having appeared in every FIFA Futsal World Cup since the inaugural version in 1989.

The Qantas Futsalroos have been drawn alongside number 2 ranked Asian side Japan, along with Turkmenistan and Chinese Taipei for the Asian Football Confederation's Futsal Championships being held in Thailand.

The four semi finalists at the 16 nation tournament will represent Asia at October's FIFA Futsal World Cup in Brazil.

Gilligan has chosen an experienced 14 man squad for the qualifying tournament which features seven veterans of the 2004 World Cup campaign.

Australia’s first Group B match is against Turkmenistan on Sunday, followed by Chinese Taipei on Monday and Japan on Tuesday 13 May. The all-important quarter finals will see the top two teams in Group B meet the top two teams in Group A that features Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq and Indonesia.

Australia will complete their final preparations with matches against Kuwait tomorrow and against the Thailand U21s on Thursday, having demolished New Zealand 11-2 in Sydney on Saturday immediately prior to flying out to Bangkok.

The Qantas Futsalroos squad for the qualifying tournament is:

Tuan Cao (NSW), Fernando de Moreas (VIC), Trent Flanigan (ACT), Greg Giovenali (NSW), Luke Haydon (QLD), Simon Keith (NSW), Angelo Konstantinou (ACT), Dean Lockhart (NSW), Danny Ngaluafe (Qld), Gavin O’Brien (NSW), Peter Spathis (NSW), Adrian Vizzari (NSW), Lachlan Wright (NSW), Christopher Zeballos (NSW).

The four groups are:
Group A – Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Indonesia
Group B – Japan, Australia, Turkmenistan, Chinese Taipei
Group C – Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Korea Republic
Group D – IR Iran, Tajikistan, China PR, Kuwait

Australia’s matches are:
May 11 v Turkmenistan – 6.45pm (local time)
May 12 v Chinese Taipei – 12 noon (local time)
May 13 v Japan – 6.45pm (local time)

All matches in the tournament will be played at either the Nimibutr or Hua Mark stadiums in Bangkok, with the final to be held on May 18.

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