The Sydney Rangers soccer team have returned from Washington adorned in bronze medals, following a successful campaign at the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association’s World Cup.
It was the Rangers’ seventh foray into the international football competition, which brings dozens of clubs from around the world to compete each year.
Running at a disadvantage from the outset, with only seven team members, the Rangers were more than pleased with their eventual ascent to the semi-finals, which they achieved with a little bit of help from some international ring-ins from Scandinavia, Britain and America.
Having only had 35 minutes to train together as a whole team before taking to the field, the roaring success of the Rangers was testament to their players’ instincts, club president Gavin Meares said.
We weren’t expecting too much, we thought it would take a while for the team to gel and work out how to play together – when you’ve got the ball, knowing where someone’s going to be, Meares said.
But we gelled very quickly, which was testament to how well we all know each other and how we can accommodate other players. For the other players, it was about how they could adjust to our style of play.
It was the Rangers’ second time in the IGLFA World Cup semis, though this year’s defeat at the hands of the Seattle Jets was nowhere near as crushing as previous losses.
The other team were just too good, Meares said. We played well and did all we could, but they were too fast up front and they were a team who had been together for seven years.
But we thoroughly enjoyed the game and I wouldn’t say that it was disappointing. Last year we were shattered when we lost the semi-finals. This year there were no tears, we were all very, very pleased with ourselves because we did so much better than we expected.
info: For more information on the Rangers exploits at home and overseas head to www.sydneyrangersfc.com.au.