Australia

Pararoos prepare for next year's World Cup in Spain

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A second-place finish at the Asia-Oceanic championships sealed Australia's Paralympic football team a spot at next year's World Cup.

Three years ago, the Pararoos lost almost $200,000  in funding. But, a second-place finish at the Asia-Oceanic championships sealed their spot at next year's World Cup in Spain.

Goal poacher Ben Roche said the loss of government funding in 2015 proved a blessing in disguise for the side.

"When someone takes something away from you it sort of fires you up a little bit," he said.

"It was probably a bit of a wake up call and an opportunity for us."

"In a sense, I'm glad it happened because it allowed us to take it to the next level."

Pararoos players Taj Lynch and Ben Roche.
Pararoos players Taj Lynch and Ben Roche.
Adrian Arciuli

The Pararoos compete in a seven-a-side format for players with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury or symptoms resulting from a stroke.

With the help of Football Federation Australia and the Australian Sports Foundation, the team has been able to overcome the funding obstacle. 

"We took that as an opportunity to prove the value of the Pararoos and what football means to us," Roche said.

"To achieve our highest ranking, I think it sums up what we are capable of."

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