Josh Cavallo reflected on a truly special day at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night after Adelaide United held the inaugural Pride Games in the A-Leagues.
The women’s team began the occasion with a resounding 3-0 win over Melbourne Victory to book a maiden finals appearance, while the men secured a dramatic 2-1 comeback triumph against Central Coast Mariners.
Cavallo believed it was a fantastic day raising awareness and sending a positive message of respect and inclusivity for the LGBTI+ community.
The 22-year-old started the match in midfield, delivering a dynamic performance and came close to scoring in the second stanza.
Cavallo was pleased the Reds were able to collect maximum points and commended the resilience again shown by the squad.
“It was a very special night not only for the Pride Community and the Pride Cup (the organisation), but for Stefan Mauk as well,” he said to Network 10 after the contest.
“It’s his last game for the football club, we knew the importance of today.
“I’m just extremely proud of the boys because we showed once again that never give up attitude.
“It came down to the 90+ minutes that we turned around and made this win.
“We went down 1-0, we missed a penalty and we knew in the changeroom, (at half-time) we had a hard shift to put in. I couldn’t be prouder of the boys.”
Cavallo hoped the Pride Game will eventually translate into a Pride Round moving forward, and intimated the impact of holding such events should not be underestimated.
“I think everyone is realising that it’s more common and stuff like this just raises awareness,” he continued.
“It’s people that watch the game that have nothing to do with football and see the pride flag and see everyone encouraging it and say, ‘oh look I might be comfortable to play football now’.
“And I think that’s the main message you want to get across and hopefully we’re taking the right baby steps to have a pride round in the future.”