The Caltex Socceroos took time out after training to meet with some young Australian fans in the United Arab Emirates last week ahead of Monday’s solid 4-0 win over Kuwait in Kuwait City.
The young Australians, who live in the UAE, are part of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019’s Playmakers Programme.
‘Playmakers’ are active community ambassadors in the UAE helping to spread the word about the AFC Asian Cup among their communities.
Currently, there are 310 individuals representing close to all the 24 nations set to compete in the UAE early next year.
During the meet and greet Australia’s players, coaches, and staff discovered that they have some strong advocates in the Middle East, including 15-year-old Jessica Cullen who has lived in the UAE for the past seven years.
“It’s great to be able to meet the team and that they now know they have great support from Australian fans who live in the UAE,” Jessica said.
“My whole family love football and the Socceroos and I really can’t wait to tell all my friends that I met the team and watched a training session. It has made me even more excited to watch the games in January at the AFC Asian Cup.
“As a Playmaker, I want to bring the Australian community together ahead of the tournament and give the manager and players the best support possible for their games.
“I believe wholeheartedly our boys can take the trophy home again. Of course, a part of me is also cheering for the UAE national team as I have played the UAE U18 Women’s National Team many times. I love living in their country and I would love to see them do well in the tournament too,” she said.
Australia will face Jordan, Palestine, and Syria in Group B at the 24-team AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
The Socceroos will kick-off their title defence against Jordan at the Hazza Bin Sayed Stadium in Al Ain on January 6, before meeting Palestine at Dubai’s Rashid Stadium five days later. Graham Arnold’s side will round of their group stage campaign against Syria at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on January 15.
To find out more about the Playmakers Programme, please click here.
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