China put the finishing touches on their preparation for this weekend’s Australian Beach Soccer Cup with a friendly match against a Wollongong side on Thursday.
As one of two overseas sides in the tournament, the Chinese took on some of the Illawarra’s best talent on North Beach.
Given that the Thailand squad only landed in the country on Thursday, the match was the perfect chance for the Chinese to get an edge on their rivals.
The visitors ran out 4-2 winners but South Coast Wolves star Steve Hayes said it was far from a one-way street.
‘‘I thought we did pretty good; we were competitive,’’ Hayes said.
‘‘It is good exposure for beach soccer and Wollongong so get down and support it.
‘‘It is the first time I have ever played beach soccer. It is good for a little bit of cross training and fitness, it gives your legs and your lungs a huge work out and helps your touch.’’
Hayes’s Wollongong side will be raising money for the Cancer Council during the tournament.
Sponsors will give $5 for every goal scored.
The Wolves will be one of four teams competing for the Wollongong Beach Soccer Cup.
The competition will run simultaneously with the Australian Cup over this weekend.
Both with culminate with two massive grand finals on Sunday.
Wollongong Wolves skipper and beach soccer player Jacob Timpano said the entire event would not have been possible without the hard work of event organiser Alfredo Esteves.
‘‘Alfredo has organised it all pretty much off his own back,’’ Timpano said.
‘‘He has done an amazing job getting the International teams over here and getting the event to where it is.
‘‘When he started it from scratch I think he has got to take a lot of credit to where he has got it.’’