Gay men’s soccer club the Sydney Rangers has kicked off with a competitive start to the Canterbury District winter competition, fielding three teams for the first time and punching above their weight in the second round on Saturday.
Rangers A scored a solid win over Balmain with only 10 regulars, a borrowed player from a previous match and no substitutes. Scoring four goals to the opposition’s one in the first half, the Rangers dominated play early and limited Balmain’s scoring opportunities. With only 10 men on the field and no substitutes, the Rangers still kept their opponents scoreless in the second half, going on to their second victory from two starts and vaulting to the top of the ladder. Rangers B didn’t fare so well against Enfield, going down 4-1, but the newly-formed Rangers over-35s fought a more experienced Burwood to a 2-2 draw despite having no substitutes to call on.
Rangers manager and over-35s goalkeeper Billy Kennedy said the results were a good start to the season and were reason to be optimistic about the season ahead.
“We had a satisfying result considering the heat and no bench, but on another day it could have gone either way. My boys were great today, and left everything out there,” Kennedy said.
Founded in 1997, the Sydney Rangers is Australia’s largest and oldest gay men’s soccer club. In October, the Rangers helped launch the Justin Fashanu Cup, a national LGBTI tournament started in 2009 to honour the first professional soccer player to publicly come out.
Rangers A go up against hosts Marrickville this Saturday at Mackey Park.