By David Kavanagh | posted on May 25, 2019
AN ALBANY student turned soccer player living with cerebral palsy could soon see himself jet off to Spain to represent Australia at the World Cup for paraplegic soccer.
Bethel Christian School’s Connor Moseley will travel to Sydney this weekend to attend one final training camp with Australia’s national paraplegic soccer team, the Pararoos.
The 15-year-old has been attending a series of these camps at the city’s Valentine Sports Park over the past two years and will soon find out whether he has been selected to play for the team at this July’s International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football World Cup in Seville.
“I was a bit nervous when I started there because I was the youngest player at the time, I still am to be honest,” he said.
“Now I’m probably going off to Spain to play against top teams.
“It means quite a lot to me because it shows I’ve made it on a professional level.
“I’ve probably got a good future ahead of me, something to look forward to, and it shows that all of this hard work is actually going towards a good cause.”
Connor was diagnosed with mild right-sided hemiplegia when he was about two years old and has grown up with some issues in his right hand, right leg and a little in his left leg.
“Sometimes it’s really hard for me because I get really frustrated about how I can’t use my right hand as well as I use my left,” he said.
Despite this, the young athlete has been playing soccer since pre-primary and has competed as part of the WA paraplegic men’s soccer team for nearly three years.
He was named young player of the tournament at last year’s national competition, where the state team placed fourth.
Connor’s father and former teacher at Bethel Justin Moseley said he was delighted to see how far his son had come.
“He certainly is passionate about his soccer and lives the game and the skills,” he said.
“He studies what to do and says ‘I’ll practise that particular move of that particular famous player until I get it right.’
“Disabled people have the decks stacked against them a little bit in terms of career options and this sort of thing is very helpful to help young people get some direction.”
Paraplegic soccer differs slightly from regular soccer.
Rather than having 11 players aside, paraplegic soccer teams have seven players each, play on smaller pitches and shoot into smaller goals.
The Pararoos were pooled into Group C for the 16-nation IFCPF World Cup tournament, alongside top-ranked Ukraine, Argentina and Spain.