Sydney University will face off against the world’s best university teams at the inaugural FISU University World Cup in Jinjiang, China; having booked their ticket after winning an eighth straight title at the 2018 Div 1 Nationals.
After a 13-month wait since qualification, the tournament kicks off on November 21, with Sydney University to start their campaign against Switzerland’s University of Lausanne a day after the opening ceremony.
The stacked Group B also consists of the home nation’s Beijing Normal University, who they play on 24th November and Brazil’s Paulista University – Sydney’s final opposition in the group stage on November 26th.
The two top teams from each pool qualify for the finals, while the bottom teams fight it out in separate fifth and seventh place playoffs, with the tournament concluding on December 1st.
Since qualifying, Sydney University won a ninth straight title at the 2019 Div 1 Nationals, dominating the competition right up to the final with a 2-0 win over rivals UTS.
Sydney University captain Clare Woods has her eyes on the top prize, but is also hoping to gain valuable experience playing against various styles of football, which she admits poses their biggest challenge.
‘’Although bringing back the gold is our main focus, the team is also hoping to improve our own brand of football by playing against internationals teams that typically play in styles we’re not exposed to,’’ Woods said.
‘’Additionally, we are looking forward to experiencing the culture and traditions of the city of Jinjiang.
‘’The biggest challenge we’ll face is adjusting to the playing styles of international teams that we haven’t been exposed to yet. However, our squad’s diversity and depth form a strong, resilient base that will allow us to adapt and thrive within a new environment and against new opponents.
‘’The pride of representing the University of Sydney and the confidence instilled from winning Nationals nine years in a row means we’re going into the competition eagerly and positively.’’
Woods leads a 17-person strong squad to Jinjiang that is looking to make a major impact with an exciting brand of football.