Canada Soccer will feature in its 100th international Para Soccer match this Saturday 30 November in Cromer, Australia. The 2019 international friendly is part of a two-match series that will close out Canada’s 15th international season since their debut at the 2005 World Championships. The two matches are scheduled Saturday and Sunday at Cromer Park.
Canada’s Para Soccer Team competes in several global competitions over a four-year cycle, including the International Federation of CP Football’s biennial World Championships. The team features athletes who have cerebral palsy or have had a stroke or brain injury. At the most recent 2019 IFCPF World Cup in Spain, Canada finished in 12th place.
“Our staff and players are very excited for this opportunity to play these international matches before the end of the year,” said Drew Ferguson, Canada Soccer’s Para Soccer National Team Head Coach. “We are happy to be chosen to be part of this opportunity provided by Football Federation Australia through the FIFA Forward 2.0 Football Development Programme.”
All-time, Canada have won six of nine international matches against Australia since 2005. In their most-recent meeting on 18 July, Australia won 4:2 over Canada to clinch 11th place at the 2019 IFCPF World Cup. Canada took a 2-1 lead, but Australia equalised before the half and then pulled away with a pair of goals including the winner in the second half.
“It should be a closely-contested match which provides our staff with a chance to look at some players who we have not had the opportunity to see in international action over the past few years,” said Ferguson.
Canada’s 12-man squad will feature four returning players who missed the 2019 IFCPF World Cup: Sam Denton, Benjamin Mowat, Joe Resendes and Cory Stashewsky. Canada’s eight other players were all in Spain this summer, including 2019 IFCPF World Cup Most Valuable Player Samuel Charron and 2018 Canadian Para Soccer Player of the Year Damien Wojtiw.
Along with Mowat and Stashewsky, Canada’s squad features teenagers Diego Gilbert and Danny White. In all, nine of Canada’s 12 players are 26 or younger, including Lucas Bruno (23), Charron (21), Denton (21), Raji Kamoun (26), and Ryan Watson (20). Rounding out the squad is Dustin Hodgson, Canada’s all-time leader with 83 international appearances (from 99 matches since 2005).
Canada Soccer’s Drew Ferguson, a former Men’s National Team player who has led the Para Soccer program since its inception, will also become the first Canadian coach to reach the 100-match milestone in the 30 November international match.
Name | Age | Where they grew up
Bruno, Lucas | 23 | Calgary, AB, CAN
Charron, Samuel | 21 | Ottawa, ON, CAN
Denton, Sam | 21 | Southwold, ON, CAN
Gilbert, Diego | 18 | Toronto, ON, CAN
Hodgson, Dustin | 35 | Vancouver, BC, CAN
Kamoun, Raji | 26 | Montréal, QC, CAN
Mowat, Benjamin | 18 | Moncton, NB, CAN
Resendes, Joe | 39 | Port Moody, BC, CAN
Stashewsky, Corey | 19 | Victoria, BC, CAN
Watson, Ryan | 20 | Montréal, QC, CAN
White, Danny | 16 | Kitchener, ON, CAN
Wojtiw, Damien | 38* | Toronto, ON, CAN
*Damien Wojtiw turns 38 on 26 November