Rush for soccer visit

SOCCER legends such as Ian Rush and John Barnes could be among the members of the Liverpool FC Foundation who will visit Doveton in an “event of a lifetime” next week.
Liverpool FC Foundation will be visiting Waratah Reserve, Doveton, on 24 July as part of the club’s first visit to Australia.
They will host a training session with Doveton Special Soccer School and Casey residents are invited to be a part of the fun.
“Council is inviting soccer fans to attend the training session and cheer on players from the Doveton Special Soccer School,” City of Casey Mayor Amanda Stapledon said.
“Following the sessions, fans will be able to meet with Liverpool FC Foundation coaches, the mascot and if they are lucky, some legends of the club.”
Liberal candidate for Holt Ricardo Balancy secured the visit by writing to the Liverpool FC Foundation asking it to visit the Doveton Soccer Special School.
“I was absolutely chuffed by the fact they accepted.
“I think it will be a huge boost for the Doveton Special Soccer School and for people with disabilities,” Mr Balancy said.
“The main aim is to boost the profile of the Doveton Soccer Special School and, hopefully, get them more sponsorship and support.”
Doveton Special Soccer School director and head coach Juan Carlos Loyola OAM said this event was a “dream come true”.
“It’s an event of a lifetime for Doveton and for Casey.
“To get one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world to visit us is an amazing opportunity,” Mr Loyola said.
Mr Loyola said the event was a great boost for the members of the Doveton Special Soccer School.
“We want to provide an opportunity to boys and girls of all abilities to enjoy sports they love.
“To see the smiles on their faces every week from playing soccer is the beauty of my job,” Mr Loyola said.
“They are very excited (about next week’s event). They deserve the best.”
No visiting members of the Liverpool FC Foundation have been identified yet, but Mr Loyola and Mr Balancy hope Ian Rush and John Barnes could be among the legends attending the event.
Councillor Stapledon said Liverpool FC Foundation’s visit cements Casey’s reputation as the sporting capital of Melbourne’s south-east.
At Tuesday night’s council meeting, councillors agreed to present a key to the city to the foundation.
In December 2011, Casey council adopted a policy in which prominent residents and guests will be presented with symbolical keys to the city at special events, emulating the moves of other major cities across the world.
“A key to the city would honour such a wonderful event,” Cr Stapledon said.
“This is one of the most exciting events to come to Casey and a wonderful opportunity for our city.
“This is a fitting tribute to a wonderful club and our dedication to sport in Casey.”
Cr Stapledon congratulated Mr Balancy and the Doveton Special Soccer School for securing the visit.

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