Juniors ready for international contest
TWO junior soccer players from Waikiki and Mandurah have been selected in the WA Under 16 team taking part in an international tournament in China.
Jonah Madeira and Oleg Tarshin flew out to Shanghai this week to compete against representative teams from Nigeria, Bahrain and China, as well as clubs from Spain and the Czech Republic, and host side Shanghai Shenxin.
A series of trials were conducted to determine the WA players most suited to the high-quality opposition they will face in Shanghai.
Players were drawn from 11 National Premier Leagues WA clubs and have been training for the tournament for the past two months.
WA state team coach Garry Church, who has spent five years working with juniors in his role with governing body Football West, has selected a balanced squad that will benefit from the experience of their first international tournament.
“It will be a great experience for the players to go up against high-calibre opposition from around the world.
“Our squad has been training well over the past few weeks and it will be a great challenge against such good opposition and teams of players who’ve been playing together for quite some time,” he said.
“But we have talented players of our own and with the right attitude, which I’m sure all players will have, they’ll perform very well and get so much out of this, which will be an experience of a lifetime for some.”
The competition will consist of two groups of four teams playing a single round-robin with the top two teams from each group entering a knockout stage.
Football West chief executive James Curtis said the tournament would provide players with an exceptional football experience.
“Our state team’s involvement in the tournament will give some of our most promising young players a unique sporting and cultural experience,” he said.