Soccer: Paralympic team falls short in Sydney


WA Paralympic coach Goran Stajic.
WA Paralympic coach Goran Stajic.

WA has fallen just short of glory at the National Paralympic Football Championships in Sydney.

The side was beaten 3-0 in the final by NSW.

It was a bitter pill to swallow after WA had drawn with its conquerors 2-2 earlier in the tournament.

WA kicked off the championships in great fashion by winning 4-1 against Queensland, with speedy striker Chris Minutillo among the scorers.

WA followed that up with a 3-1 win over Victoria and the draw with NSW before booking its place in the final with a 6-0 win over the Combined States, which featured players from the ACT, South Australia, NSW and New Zealand.

Unfortunately it could not bring the trophy home but there was one consolation prize, with North Perth resident Chris Barty claiming goalkeeper of the tournament.

Nicholas Prescott was named WA’s Most Valuable Player for the tournament.

Coach Goran Stajic revealed after the tournament he would end his three-year appointment on a high.

“It is with mixed emotions that I step away from the WA Paralympic Football Team,” he said.

“The best part of my week is the time I spend with the team at training, on the road, and at tournaments.

“This year’s group is the most enjoyable one I’ve been around.

“That being said, it is time for me to spend more time with my family and further advance my coaching accreditation.

“I feel that the program is on solid footing and can’t wait to see what they’ll do next year.”