Springwood resident Chris Pyne has earned his 100th cap playing for the Australian Pararoos, the cerebral palsy football (soccer) team.
Pyne took the field as goalkeeper for the Pararoos in their 2-0 win against host team Spain in the Cerebral Palsy World Cup in Seville on July 11. It was a special game for Pyne - not only was he awarded his 100th cap but he kept a clean sheet in the score line as well.
Pyne has been playing with the Pararoos - currently ranked 10 in the world - since 1999 when he represented Australia at the Sydney Paralympics at the age of 15, the youngest player in the tournament. Since then he has become the vice-captain of the team and has played for Australia in five continents. Besides playing for the Pararoos, he is involved in junior development of the sport.
Former Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who has also earned 100 caps, presented a 100 football shirt to Pyne after the game against Spain.
"It's a great experience to represent your country. That's special. Join the club," he said.
Pyne was modest about the achievement: "It is just a number but it's a number you all hope to get to."
He thanked his team mates and coaching staff for making it possible.
Coach, Kai Lammert said: "Chris personifies what this program is all about. He is a role model to all players and staff alike, and an inspiration to all children that want to wear the green and gold."
Pyne grew up in Faulconbridge, attending Faulconbridge Public School and Springwood High School. He lives in Springwood with his wife, Clare and their one-year-old son, Freddie. He is an assistant principal at Winmalee Public School.
Cerebral palsy football provides the world format for disabled football and is open to people with cerebral palsy or those, like Pyne, who suffer from the effects of an acquired brain injury.