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Vegas, baby: Maynooth students get invited to the football tennis World Cup

A drunken email originally led to a trip to Turkey. Now the lads have set up Football Tennis Ireland and are heading for Las Vegas in June to mix it with Andre Agassi.

Image: Steven Conway

IRELAND’S FOOTBALL TENNIS team has been invited to participate in the 2011 Soccer Tennis World Cup…in Las Vegas.

The lucky lads have previously represented their country after a drunken email led to them being invited to the Football Tennis World Championships in Turkey last year, where they finished in 10th place.

Now they are set to go further afield when they compete at the World Cup in Vegas this June. Organised by the American Soccer Tennis Association (ASTO), the competition  will feature 32 teams from all over the world, including Brazil, Argentina, Germany Spain and Japan.

The event is being run by Thomas Dooley, captain of the US soccer team at the 1998 World Cup in France, in aid of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. A number of celebrities, including Agassi himself, will be taking part.

Steven Conway, vice president of Football Tennis Ireland, told TheScore.ie how the organisation had applied to the Irish Sports Council for funding.
We  submitted a 20,000 word application to the Sports Council yesterday. We’ve been working on it for the last five weeks. It usually takes a few months for applications to be processed so it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting funding in time for Vegas.

The event is generating media interest, with television coverage already confirmed in Germany, and plenty of big names lined up to take part. Conway and the rest of the side could find themselves up against several former pros.

The US team could potentially be made up of Lalas, Dooley and Balboa, who have a load of caps and all played in multiple world cups. Agassi will obviously involved, and the organisers say they’re close to getting Boris Becker on board as well.

Conway, an Arts graduate, set up the national federation with his friends after being invited to the previous championships in Turkey. They are currently campaigning for sponsorship.

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