Central Coast Mariners Goalkeeper, Paul Izzo was yesterday unveiled at the Powerchair National Titles as the Mariners Powerchair Ambassador which is a role that sits very close to his heart.
Yesterday on Paul Izzo’s day off he took the time out to head to Western Sydney to attend the Powerchair Football National Titles to support the representatives from our Mariners Powerchair team and provide them with their Memberships for the Hyundai A-League season.
Powerchair football is a variation of the beautiful game developed specifically for competitive play between wheelchair users, played on a regulation basketball court.
The Mariners compete in the four team NSW Powerchair Football Association Western Sydney division alongside some very familiar foes, including the Western Sydney Wanderers, the Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC.
Izzo will fly the flag for Powerchair Football on the Central Coast and spoke about the inspiring message it sends to the football community and why it is a sport that is so close to his heart.
“My dad’s cousin Paul, who I’m obviously named after, suffered from muscular dystrophy and one of the things that he loved doing was playing powerchair football, he also played a bit of basketball so this is really close to home for me and I want to help them as much as I can," Izzo said
“We want to bring this big family culture back to the club and that involves every team here at the club, including the powerchair team and I want them to feel like they are a part of the club and our big family, so it’s very important that they’re involved,” Izzo said.
Izzo hailed the powerchair team for their incredible skill level and spoke about the positive impact watching them play has had on him.
“As a footballer you deal with a lot of things on and off the pitch,” Izzo said. “Seeing these guys playing their style of football on the pitch is inspiring because these guys have a smile on their faces the whole time and they were loving it.
“It was so inspiring for me because no matter what challenges are thrown in front of their lives they still have time to be happy and enjoy life.
“It really puts life into perspective, you can complain that things aren’t going your way or people are saying things about you but at the end of the day when I saw those guys and how much fun they were having, it’s great.
“I’m sure they’ve had people in their lives saying they can’t do this, can’t do that and there they are playing good quality, sharp football, it was really impressive and for me that’s incredibly inspiring,” Izzo said.
Central Coast Mariners and NSW Powerchair Football Skipper, Chris Suffield thanked Paul for his support.
“It was great to have Paul Izzo come to the nationals today,” Suffield said. “For players of his calibre, and for the clubs to take an active interest in our sport really gives the players a lift.
“We look forward to becoming more closely involved with the club now, we had an excellent end to the club season, with a very young team, coming in 3rd.
“We are already getting some recruitment underway for next season.
“With the nationals now underway, all of us are working hard to get selection, and starting preparation for the World Cup to be held in Florida in July 2017. We hope to make the Mariners proud of us,” Suffield said.
Other Central Coast Mariners players who have taken on ambassadorial roles this season include:
- Camp Quality: Roy O’Donovan
- Surf Life Saving Central Coast: Josh Bingham
- NSW Cancer Council (Central Coast): Mickey Neill
- White Ribbon: Ivan Necevski
- Coast Shelter: Fabio Ferreira