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All roads led to Doveton FC this Wednesday when the Liverpool FC Foundation hosted a training session with the Doveton Special Soccer School as a lead up to the big match at the MCG when Liverpool FC played Melbourne Victory.

The RPP FM Report Team travelled to Doveton FC to capture all the action and excitement.

Darren Smith, presenter of RPP FM sports program The Locker Room conducted interviews with people who put on the training session and made the event possible.

Carlos Loyola, Doveton FC Director of Soccer has been part of the Doveton FC for 25 years and founded the Doveton FC Special Soccer School in 1993. He explained to Darren that communication is a challenge when working with disabled kids but when you put them on a football pitch they all work together. He said, “It’s not all about football, it’s about teaching them life skills, sharing, discipline, respect and helps them mix in the community.” This is a major event for the Club and added, “It’s a small Club for a big event and we are very happy.”

Ricardo Balancy, Federal Candidate for Holt and passionate soccer fan, said when he heard Liverpool FC Tour 2013 were coming to Melbourne he contacted the club in the UK. To Ricardo’s delight, the LFC organisers responded and a date was arranged to conduct a training session with the Doveton Special Soccer School.

City of Casey, Mayor Cr Amanda Stapledon was proud that Ricardo had secured this event for the Doveton FC and they knew how big and extraordinary it would be. She said, “Ricardo has a social justice outlook and thought this event would be great for the Doveton Special Soccer School and the community.

Mayor Cr Stapledon said the event was timed well to coincide with the ‘Mayor’s Walk for Disability’ where she has committed walking approximately 75 kms across Casey between 5 August – 16 August to raise awareness of the issues people face living with a disability and their carers.

Daniel McMinimee, President of Doveton FC has been playing football since the age of 4 and has been part of the Doveton FC for 9 years as player and coach. He said, “We also have kids from Sudan and Afghanistan involved in the Club which heightens our participation of community work.”

Carlos addressed the 6 Liverpool FC Committee members including Reserve players thanking them for visiting before heading for the pitch for the anticipated training session. They signed guernseys and a mounted silver soccer ball. The Liverpool FC Anthem, ‘You’ll never walk alone was played through the PA system as the Clubs approached the pitch.

Presentations by the Liverpool SC were made to the Special Soccer School after the training session.

Congratulations to Doveton FC, the Special Soccer School, Ricardo Balancy and all who helped to make this wonderful event possible. 

Australia is part of the LFC Tour visiting Indonesia, Thailand, Norway & Ireland.

A crowd of 95,446 spectators watched Melbourne Victory loose to Liverpool FC 2 – 0 with an atmosphere rarely experience with football fans in Melbourne.

Make sure you listen to The Locker Room this Saturday at 10.30am when Darren will broadcast the interviews.

Pictured: Liverpool FC committee and reserves players with the Doveton FC Special Soccer School and Committee members and City of Casey, Mayor Cr Amanda Stapledon
Insert: Ricardo Balancy, aspirator behind the Liverpool FC training session held at Doveton FC.

Words by Debra Mar
Photography: Rab Siddhi