This weekend the city of Melbourne hosts the inaugural Asian Cup of Table Football.
Based at Sandringham District Masonic Hall, the competition kicks off Friday 16th January before concluding on Sunday, with Australia heading an international tie against Singapore.
Commonly known as Subbuteo, the game involves flicking miniature weight-based figurines representing players on a table-top simulated football match.
The sport rose to fame throughout Western Europe in the 1970s and 1980s, and is easily distinguishable from other table-top platforms through its extensive array of replica kits and accessories.
Corresponding with the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, Australia has the privilege of hosting the first ever Asian Cup of Table Football.
“It is a huge honour to be part of this,” said Luke Radziminski, acting president and co-founder of the Melbourne Subbuteo Football Club.
“The club started from scratch in April 2013 playing in each other’s homes – fast forward to January 2015 we have evolved dramatically and are ready to prove ourselves to the global community of Subbuteo,” he added.
The tournament will also feature a respectable international presence in its first year, featuring competitors from Singapore, Hong Kong and a large contingent of Australians, including World Cup duo Peter Thomas and Robert Green.
“I personally will be looking out for Peter Thomas and Robert Green for the Aussies, both competed in the World Cup,” Radziminksi said.
“Robert Green himself will be coming down from Sweden with lots of European experience under his belt and I’m sure he isn’t here to mess around.
“There is a large, beautiful trophy to play for and points are at stake for each player’s international ranking.”
The opening ceremony on Friday 16 January will kick off proceedings, followed by a number of fixtures culminating in the international fixture between Australia and Singapore on Sunday afternoon.
“On paper it doesn’t look like it will be a one sided affair,” Radziminksi said about the highly anticipated match-up.
“For those keen flickers out there, this international match-up will definitely provide an entertaining and tense goal fest, and more importantly a learning curve for the amateurs if they pick up some of the strategies and techniques these decorated players will show on the day.”
The spectacle also presents a major boost for Subbuteo in Australia.
Enjoyed throughout the community, the stage is set for the competition to enjoy international exposure, bolstering its status as a mainstream table-top sport in Australia.
“The long term goal for Subbuteo is to become a recognized sport here in Australia and to become a mainstream table-top game as it was like in the British Isles back in the 1970’s and 1980’s,” Radziminski said.
“There is talk of Sydney hosting the next Asian cup but I would like to see Subbuteo grow all around Asia with a stronger community so we could have future Grand Prix’s in nations such as Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.”
For more details on rules and regulations, visit the official Australian Table Football Association website.