Reds player wins national selection

Elliot Cooper is heading to Kazakhstan for the futsal world championships.

Cambridge footballer Elliot Cooper will represent his country at this year’s FISU World University Futsal Championship in Kazakhstan.

The Reds midfielder has been selected for the NZ University Futsal team to go to the world champs in August. Futsal is an indoor format of football and is one of the fastest-growing sports in New Zealand.

Cooper, a 4th-year physiotherapy student at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), joined Cambridge Football Club this year after previously playing for Takapuna in the Northern League.

As well as playing for the Reds, he doubles as the first team physio, being a member of Vigour Physiotherapy‘s team of sports specialists.

Cooper (22) joins a national squad that includes six Futsal Whites – Hamish Mitchell (Ara Institute of Canterbury), Luke Maynard (University of Auckland), Luc Saker (Victoria University of Wellington), Jordan Ditfort (Waikato University), Thomas McGowan (University of Canterbury) and Benjamin Lapslie (University of Canterbury).

His next challenge is finding the $5,000 he needs to personally fundraise to be a member of the squad that plays in Kazakhstan.

The money is needed for his share of flights, accommodation, meals, travel insurance, entry and referee fees, training costs, coaching and management support and uniform.

His fundraising includes using a Givealittle Page at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/world-university-futsal-championship-kazakhstan#.

New Zealand will send men’s and women’s teams to the championships in Kazakhstan for the tournament being held between August 19-26.

Nations already registered for the 2018 FISU World University Futsal Championships include Afghanistan, Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Germany, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine and the United States.

Meanwhile, errors proved costly last weekend as Cambridge lost a close-fought encounter with Auckland’s Metro FC, only to lose 3-1 in the Lotto NRFL second division.

Reds forward Dylan Blair shoots from long range against Metro. Photo – Louis Roberts.

Cambridge went ahead in the 16th minute at John Kerkhof Park when Jamie Woodlock smashed home a penalty.

The visitors clawed back a goal midway through the half with a diving header from Stu Roberts.

Defensive mistakes in the second spell turned the game when Yusuke Takai put Metro 2-1 ahead in the 66th minute, and then Josh Dayal added a third with only five minutes to go.

Cambridge are at home in the Northern League this Saturday, hosting Bucklands Beach, one of the in-form teams in the division. The match kicks off at 3pm at John Kerkhof Park.

A match between the two clubs’ reserves sides will act as a curtain-raiser, kicking off at 12.30pm.

Meanwhile, Cambridge’s reserves continued their hot form in front of goal, putting eight past their counterparts from Metro in an 8-2 victory.

Tom Woutersen, who had scored a hat-trick the previous weekend for Cambridge in the Loaded WaiBOP Championship, notched another three-goal tally for the reserves.

Other goals came from Nathan Hallum (2), Adam Brady, Andrew Taylor and Shaun Richardson.

The Championship team lost 3-2 at home to Tauranga Blue Rovers in controversial fashion, being denied a last–minute penalty.

Scorers for Cambridge were Gavin Clark and Edinson Arroyo.

In the Waikato A division, Cambridge got their first league point with a 1-1 draw at home to Melville United, after the game was scoreless at the break. Cambridge’s scorer was Mitchell Claridge.

The Cambridge D1s beat Northern United away 3-0 to take a share of the divisional lead. Goalscorers were last year’s top scorer Dave O’Donnell and Scott Jenkins.

On Sunday, Cambridge’s women lost their perfect start to the season, going down 3-2 to West Hamilton United in a tight match at Weka St.

The two teams traded goals in the first half to go into the break 2-2 with Cambridge’s goals coming from top goalscorer Rachel Hill and an own goal.

The home side found a winner in the second half to give Cambridge their first loss of the season after previous wins against Te Awamutu and Te Aroha in the Waikato Women’s B League.

Coach Andrew Taylor was pleased with his team’s performance, saying the players showed grit and had played well. He said Sophee Rapson-Jones and captain/goalkeeper Jen Hull had given standout performances.

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