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Ready for the Freedom challenge

August 08, 2009 | © Bendigo Weekly

[inline:bendigo1.jpg="USA Freedom training"]The touring USA Freedom football side has landed in Australia to prepare for the first of a series of matches against representative teams around the country. First up is a clash with the Sydney Women’s Football League in Marrickville tomorrow then on Monday they will play a combined Queensland side at Cazaly Stadium in Cairns.

USA coach Wayne Kraska said the players were excited about their trip after they recently got together for a training session in Milwaukee.

“All the players are still learning the game but travel is a big factor in getting all of the squad together,” he said.

“Their endeavour and effort won’t be left to chance though, some of the players from Phoenix and Atlanta have been enjoying 30-plus degrees over the past month.

“They will get a shock when they get to Kangaroo Flat.’ Bendigo is set to host USA Freedom next Thursday at 5pm at Fulton Hogan Oval.

The local team completed its preparations last night with a full scale practice match and team selection. Team captain Andrea Walsh is very confident of the ability of the local players to outrun the American girls. “Our training sessions have been very pleasing with very good numbers attending and the skill shown by the local girls is very encouraging,” she said. “We expect the USA team to be much bigger and stronger, the key will be to use our pace and run the ball in to the forward line.’

After the touring side arrives in Bendigo at 11am next Thursday they will take in a tour of the Central Deborah Mine before participating in a super clinic with players from several schools in the afternoon before preparing for the big game.

The match is part of a Bendigo YMCA Women In Sport promotion in conjunction with the Victorian government with the aim of establishing a Bendigo women’s football side in a statewide competition in 2010.