As the countdown begins to the inaugural Escape Travel AFA Cup, the media team are catching up with each of the participating sides. The next team to be featured is Ballarat FC of Victoria, who are competing in the Mens Tournament.
Taking the time to catch up with the media team is Ballarat player Jake Francis. The 19 year-old has two AFA national titles under his belt already, won at youth level. He is aiming to replicate that success for the first time in the adult game.
Francis said: “I was of course really keen for this tournament. It is always great to play against some top quality competition. Any excuse to train and play futsal.
“We have had a bit of an interrupted preparation, with individuals finishing of their own seasons; but this shouldn’t have a huge effect on us, as we have all played and trained together before.”
When asked what he was looking forward to, Francis commented: “Just playing high standard futsal, with and against great players. It’s a great chance to improve and showcase what I have to offer. Also, the extra media coverage adds a further dynamic I haven’t experienced before, so that will be interesting.
“I hope to grow as a player from this tournament, improving my own game and performing well as a team. I haven’t played any top level futsal since nationals and the Ballarat Cup at the start of this year, so just to play at the top level and see how I compete will be a test I’m looking forward to. Of course, playing against other good teams will help me grow my understanding of the game, which is what I’m always looking to improve.”
Francis can’t be accused of lacking ambition. He rounded off by saying: “I’m going there to win, as I know all my teammates are. We go with an attitude and expectation that we will do the best we can, and I don’t see any reason why we can’t win it all. Whether that happens or not is impossible to predict until we see how we perform as a squad, and how strong the opposition is. Individually I just want to do my role to the best of my ability to help our team win; that’s all its about.”
The Ballarat squad competing is as follows: Joshua Ellen, Matthew Hick, Anthony Brown, Tate Griffin, Scott Rogan, Jake Francis, Liam Dawson, Kevin Robertson, Michael Trigger, Brian Te, Matthew Jamieson.