IT is hoped the trial matches between Orange Waratahs and the Australian Deaf Football team can develop into an annual international tournament.
The ADF will return to Orange in January next year for a training camp as well as a trial against Waratahs.
The two sides met in January this year in a trial where the ADF came out on top 2-0.
Deaf Football Australia secretary Brian Seymour said the plans for 2012 are the next step towards an annual event.
“Hopefully we can build from last year (2011) then the next year (2013) we hope to make it a four-team competition with maybe Dubbo, Bathurst and Lithgow getting involved,” Seymour explained.
“We’d love to have an annual event for Australia Day. We could make it a tournament with four teams.
“We know there are teams from places like Asia that would love to play in Australia. We could turn this into a tournament with two international teams.”
For now, the 2012 plans will have the ADF team, including coach Robert Stanton, arrive on January 23 before training sessions on the 24th and 25th.
The training sessions will be open and coaches from the region are encouraged to attend and observe and ask questions of Stanton.
On Australia Day, the ADF, which includes Orange’s Scott Simpson and Blayney’s Mark Davis, will go up against Waratahs at the Orange club’s home ground.
Seymour expects a tougher game from Waratahs this time around.
“They were definitely a good challenge (last time),” Seymour said.
“I think they took us a little too lightly last time. I don’t think they realised the Deaf can play football. We knew who their No.1 player was (Tim Davidson) so we made sure we starved him of the ball. This year we’re not going to be taken lightly.”
Waratahs striker Craig Sugden said the Orange side has plenty of motivation to reverse the result of this year’s trial.
“It was a good challenge to play against them. They’re pretty handy players,” Sugden said.
“They were pretty physical when we played them. It was a bit more competitive than I expected.
“I think everyone would (like to win this trial). To beat an Australian side would be a good achievement.”
Unfortunately Sugden will not get the chance to try to get one back on the ADF team as he will be overseas.
As an added incentive, a cup is being put up for the teams to play for.
The naming rights for the cup are up for grabs and anyone interested in sponsoring it or getting more information on the event can contact Waratahs’ Nathan Lowder on 0417 662 452.