Ju­niors ready for in­ter­na­tional con­test

Weekend Courier - - Sport -

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.

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