Melbourne Heart training at Oakes Oval, Lismore.
Melbourne Heart training at Oakes Oval, Lismore. Cathy Adams

Coming home

TWO former Australian soccer representatives who started their careers in Lismore will be special guests at the A-League trial game between the Melbourne Heart and Western Sydney Wanderers at Oakes Oval, Lismore, on Friday night.

Former Matildas midfielder Lisa Casagrande will join former Soceroos Craig Foster, John Aloisi and Tony Popovic on field before the 7pm kick-off.

Casagrande, who now lives on the Gold Coast, represented Australia between 1994 and 2002, playing 64 games.

Foster went to Kadina High School before going on to captain the Socceroos and is now a sports presenter and soccer commentator on SBS Television.

"I was really surprised when I heard about the game," Casagrande said.

"It's a fantastic opportunity and well deserved event for Lismore.

"I don't get the chance to come home too often so to be able to watch some quality soccer will be great.

"The A-League is improving and I suppose it's a possibility that the trial game could become an annual thing."

The teams will play for the Craig Foster Cup with organisers hopeful of drawing a crowd of 3000.

The Heart have been in Lismore since Sunday and continue their week-long training camp with school programs and an autograph signing in Keen Street at 4pm tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Lismore Workers goalkeeper Simon Cleaver has been busy training with the Melbourne side this week.

An injury to a goalkeeper in the squad paved the way for him to be called in to camp for the week.

Aloisi, who is the coach of the Melbourne team, has been impressed by Cleaver's efforts.

"It's great to be able to give a local kid the chance to train with professional players and I hope he's enjoying it," Aloisi said.

"I'm sure he was probably a bit nervous coming in but it doesn't seem to be affecting him."

Two other Far North Coast goalkeepers had the opportunity to train with the team yesterday.

Sam Kerry (Alstonville) and Pierce Essery (Byron Bay) had a two-hour morning session at Oakes Oval.




Oakes Oval, Lismore

Friday starting at 7pm

Adults $10, kids 6-12 years $2, kids under 5 free. Under-12s get free entry with cut-out ad from The Northern Star tomorrow and Friday.

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