Andy Brennan hopes events like the Pride Football Australia Tournament – held over the weekend – can continue to make football the world's most inclusive sport.
Brennan, who played in the Hyundai A-League for the Newcastle Jets, became Australia’s first openly gay professional footballer when he came out in an Instagram post back in May.
The 26-year-old, who played for Green Gully in the Victorian NPL last season, took part in the annual tournament in Melbourne which is into its 11th year.
It brings together LGBTQIA+ football clubs, players and their friends to share a love for football, in the spirit of competition, inclusion and diversity.
Brennan turned out for Melbourne Rovers Soccer Club in the Justin Fashanu Cup - named in honour of the first openly gay professional footballer - up against their NSW counterparts the Sydney Rangers.
Despite Brennan’s presence, it was the Sydneysiders who prevailed, winning 3-2 to retain the trophy they captured as hosts in 2018.
"The more things like this happen, the more people see that it's OK. You can be yourself, and football will be better for it," he told SBS.
There was also a women’s match, with Melbourne Rebels taking on Sydney’s Flying Bats Women’s Football Club for the Julie Murray Cup.
It was the Melbourne club that came out on top, with the Rovers overcoming the Flying Bats 4-1.
The PFA Tournament is supported by individuals and organisations who share a passion for discrimination free, inclusive sport, including:
- Football Federation Australia
- Football Victoria
- City of Yarra
- Pride in Sport