Vic Country has taken out the inaugural FIDA National Inclusion Carnival for footballers with an intellectual disability. The country lads turned the tables on Vic Metro in the final after going down to the favourites earlier in the carnival.

Held in Melbourne at Ransford Oval, Royal Park from Thursday 19th June to Sunday 22nd June, the carnival was contested by six teams: Vic Country, Vic Metro, Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales.  Gippsland was represented by 3 players in the Vic Country side – Kelvin Walters, Matt Keily & Sam Horner.

Group match results:

Rd1: Vic Country 4.8 – 32 LT Vic Metro 6.3 – 39
Rd2: Vic Country 12.6 – 78 DF Queensland 0.2 – 2
Rd3: Vic Country 5.8 – 34 DF Tasmania 5.4 – 34
Rd4: Vic Country 10.11 – 71 DF South Australia 1.3 – 9
Rd 5: Vic Country 5.9 – 39 DF New South Wales 4.2 – 26

The Vic Country team played exceptionally well for the entire carnival and this showed on the scoreboard.  Gippsland’s Matt, Sam & Kelvin toiled hard all day and were solid contributor’s in each match.  Occasional glimpses of brilliance from the guys on a number of occasions turned the close matches on their head, including a clutch goal from Sam against Tasmania which gave Vic Country a 4 point win in that match.

The consistency of the team and their ability to score quickly when needed proved to be the catalyst for Vic Country to finish the group stages in the top 2 and qualify for the Grand Final.  This was to be a reply of the first match of the carnival with a blockbuster Victorian showdown – Metro V Country.

In what was a testament to his consistency and solid work through the middle of the ground throughout each of the group matches Gippsland’s Kelvin Walters was named captain for the Grand Final.  Underdogs Vic Country absolutely turned it on for the final and in a blistering display turned the tables on carnival favourites Vic Metro to run out easy winners in the end.  Again the scoreboard was not a true reflection of how close the contest was, but in the true spirit of the carnival both teams battled hard to the end.

Grand Final match result:
Vic Country 8.4 – 52 defeated Vic Metro 0.2 – 2

Thanks to  Sam Horner for his review of the Carnival.

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