WA teams produced some of their best performances in National Youth Championship history at the recent under-13 and under-14 tournaments in Coffs Harbour, according to Football West Technical Manager Cris Ola.
Five players from the Kwinana and Peel regions – Andrew Murray (Pinjarra), Jayden Leader (Parmelia), Jake Shaked (Falcon), Hamish Van Dieken (Greenfields) and Daniel Griffin (Mandurah) – were selected for the under-13 team.
Ola said both teams played exceptionally well, and in keeping with Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) elite development recommendations, in finishing second in their Group A competitions.
“They played with a structured build-up and they took a proactive approach to defending, which produced a very good brand of football,” Ola said.
The National Youth Championships are used by FFA as the first stage of identification for players, who might be capable of progressing into the national underage set-up.
“Finishing second in both age groups continues an outstanding run for the Football West Elite Development programs,” Ola said.
“We had a solid year in 2015 when the teams were second and third and it’s very rewarding to see that consistency carry into this year’s tournament.”
Most of the underage State players were drawn from the Perth Glory Junior NPL teams, which was a key component of WA’s development pathway.