Juan Estepa - 5 October 2015
Teams have come from far and wide for the 15th Australian Masters Games, and all with the goal of gold luring them to Adelaide.
There are few who have done more travelling in their time though than Bomaderry FC.
The tight knit group are no stranger to racking up the kilometres for the love of football, having travelled as far as Turin, Italy to participate in 2013 World Masters Games.
It’s a long way from the small town of Bomaderry, New South Wales – some two hours south of Sydney. And whilst Adelaide is not exactly Italy in terms of distance, the boys from Bomaderry FC are ready to take the Men’s 50+/55+ football competition by storm.
Team Manager and player, Alan Barnes believes travel is actually an integral part of what makes participating in different Masters Games such a draw for his side.
“We decided at the end of our careers we would try and do as many Masters Games as we can,” the 55-year-old said.
“It’s just a way of all the guys being brought together and travelling to see the country and the world.”
This love for adventure and taking part in Masters events has Bomaderry FC already making plans for their second World Masters Games appearance – when they travel to Auckland, New Zealand in 2017.
It’s just one excuse Bomaderry FC use to participate in the games, but another is quite obviously a pure love for their sport.
Before taking their game to national and international levels, the team had been playing together since 1999 in Bomaderry’s over 35 competition, with many of the team members having played since they were children.
Barnes, a life-long player in his own right, first laced up the boots in 1966 and says he loves the game and everything that goes along with it.
“I just love it and the comradery afterwards,” he said.
“We have been good mates for a long time and you go somewhere, play soccer have fun and celebrate. It’s great.”
It’s not just Bomaderry, however, as the likeable lads join the more than 10,000 participants who are also using this year’s Australian Masters Games as a platform for health and well-being, not to mention their own love of sport and socialising.
As for their work on the pitch, Bomaderry FC started the competition well, defeating Adelaide Juventus in a tough contest 1-0 in the opening match of Group 1 in the Men’s 50+/55+ competition.
But how does the competition stack up to that in the World Games? According to Barnes, very well indeed.
“This is our first Australian Masters, but it looks like a really good standard,” he said.
“That game we just played is probably the hardest game we have played except in the World Masters against some teams in Brazil – they were really good.”
The boys from Bomaderry FC will be hoping their international pedigree keeps the ball rolling to the finals.
The 15th Australian Masters Games are being held in Adelaide, October 3-10, featuring more than 10,000 participants from across Australia and around the world.
The Australian Masters Games is proudly sponsored by the South Australian Tourism Commission through Events South Australia.
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More than 10,000 athletes and spectators will come together in Adelaide in 2019 for the 17th Australian Masters Games.