WHILE the best soccer nations on the planet battle it out for the World Cup, a smaller international series kicked off in Parkwood on Friday.
The Indonesia-based U19 team Persebaya are in WA for a week as part of a football exchange program with Football West.
As part of the tour, Persebaya will play three matches against WA teams, starting with a game against Lynwood Senior High School at Hossack Park.
Lynwood SHS soccer coach Tony Campbell said his players had been excited to take on the international team.
“We expected a tough match as Persebaya play in the professional league in Indonesia and this is their next generation of players they are sending across,” he said.
“We have a good side that can play on our day so hopefully they are all keyed up and put on a good display.
“Games like this can open our eyes to the world game and where we stand.
“I hope they get an understanding of where they sit as a player in Asia and hopefully an awareness that yes, England, Spain etc have the big leagues and the ultimate dream, but there are countries on our doorstep that have professional leagues where they can ply their trade and be successful.”
Football West chief executive James Curtis said it was the first leg of a two-way exchange, with the Gold Fields state team to travel to Indonesia next year.
“With so many Indonesian football participants in WA, we are looking forward to the first step in a prosperous football and cultural partnership with Indonesia,” he said.
“This exchange with Persebaya is important to players from both countries and it supports Football West’s efforts in improving player, referee and coaching pathways.”
June 29: Persebaya v Lynwood SHS at Hossack Park, Parkwood.
July 2: Persebaya v Gold Fields State U15 at Walter Padbury Park, Thornlie (kick-off 6pm)
Jul 3: Persebaya v Cockburn City U18 at Dalmatinac Park, Spearwood (6.30pm)