‘The best day’: Afghan women’s football team find back of the net and rediscover joy

The group of women are finally back where they belong on a pitch and enjoying their football after resettling in MelbourneIt’s an overcast Sunday afternoon at Ron Barassi Snr Reserve, a small community ground tucked away in Melbourne’s Docklands. On its lone pitch, two teams of women are approaching the 20th minute of their Victorian Women’s State League Four West clash. Both have had their chances, but the score remains goalless.Aside from the larger than average crowd and a handful of cameras scattered around the touchline, it’s a scene largely archetypal of community football. The only seats to be found are the portable plastic variety; laid out as rudimentary benches for the two sets of substitutes. A few hours earlier, coaches had been putting up the nets, driving the corner flags into the turf and cleaning up dog refuse that had been left on the pitch by apathetic dog walkers.

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