Soccer: WA amateur state team ready for three-game Malaysian trip

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE Football West State amateur team will make its fifth trip to Malaysia this Saturday to take part in a three-match tournament against national division and state league teams.

Four players from last year’s team that travelled to Malaysia have been selected in the 2017 side, which will be coached by Rob Pagnoni.

Pagnoni said the tournament would be a new experience for the bulk of the squad.

“Last year we had our best year results-wise, winning all three games and conceding only a few goals,” he said.

“This year, with only four of last year’s players returning to the squad, I think it will be an eye-opener for the rest of the players and I’m just hoping they enjoy the experience.

“They are a great bunch of guys and I’m hoping they can do the best they can. But anything after that is just a bonus.”

The WA side will take on top-tier national division side PKNS on Monday, October 30 in the first game of the tournament, before facing local side NPNG FC on November 1.

This comes after NPNG travelled to Perth in August to face WA in a friendly encounter, which WA led 1-0 before the match was called off because of the pitch conditions.

The WA side will complete their trip when it takes on second-tier national division side UiTM on November 3.

Team manager Graeme Marinkovich said the team had been using recent games against the Perth Glory Youth team to prepare for the trip.

“It’s about trying to give the guys a football experience in another country,” Marinkovich said.

“Some of these guys have come out here as immigrants or for one reason or another and they join amateur clubs and played amateur football. Then through the WA amateur state team they get looked upon and before you know it, they may end up playing at a higher standard.”

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