Transplant Australia Football Club (TAFC) is excited to announce a call out for the national squad to represent Australia at the inaugural Transplant Football World Cup which will be held in Cervia, Italy in 8-14 September 2024.
“Transplant Australia is thrilled to support this new initiative from the World Transplant Games Federation and offer another avenue for Australian transplant athletes to represent their country and compete on the world stage,” Transplant Australia CEO, Chris Thomas, said.
“The team comprising heart, lung, liver, kidney and bone marrow transplants are competing for more than just themselves; they are competing to honour their donors. Every member of the team is now back playing the game they love thanks to the gift of life,” said Chris.
Former NPL player and TAFC Chairman, Ante Kelic said the club are hungry for some competition after the disappointment of the World Cup’s postponement in 2020 due to COVID and are eager to make their mark.
Ante had hopes of representing Australia in football from a young age, but a liver condition put those dreams on hold. Now, in 2024, Ante will turn that dream into a reality thanks to the gift of life he received nine years ago.
“Football was my way back to living a normal life after receiving the transplant. When we go out on the field, we are playing not only for ourselves but for our donors and their families,” Ante said.
Fresh off a gold medal performance at the 2023 World Transplant Games in Perth, the TAFC is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to compete on the world stage once again. “It’s such a privilege to get to compete for Australia and the feeling I get stepping out onto the pitch is one that never gets old,” said Ante.
TAFC will oversee selection trials for the Australian National Transplant Football Team in early 2024. The trials are open to players of all genders aged 16 and over, who have received a solid organ or bone marrow transplant and have a passion for football.
For more information, visit https://transplant.org.au/transplantsports/transplant-australia-football-club/ or email email@example.com