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Inaugural Indigenous Team in Football Australia's National Youth Championships

The upcoming National Youth Championships 2023 is set to feature Australia's most promising young football talents, as revealed by the recently released fixtures. Over 48 teams from Football Australia's nine State and Territory Member Federations will converge in Sydney and Wollongong in October. This event has historically played a pivotal role in Football Australia's talent identification program, acting as a crucial stepping stone for many current CommBank Matildas and Subway Socceroos.

In a pioneering move for the National Youth Championships, Football Australia is sponsoring an Indigenous team in the Under 14 Girls Age Group, named the Invitational XI. This initiative offers aspiring Indigenous footballers an additional platform to showcase their abilities on the national stage. The tournament will encompass the Under 14 and Under 16 Girls, both running concurrently from October 9-13 at premier sporting venues like WIN Stadium and JJ Kelly Park in Wollongong.

The competition structure for the tournament is distinct, particularly in the Under 14 Girls age group where Groups A and B will function as separate competitions. The top four teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals and compete for a spot in the grand final. Similarly, the Under 16 Girls tournament will have two groups, with the top teams from each group proceeding to the semi-finals and eventually vying for the championship on Friday, October 6.

The Boys' Age Groups competition will unfold from October 2-6 at Valentine Sports Park, Glenwood, the home of Football NSW. With 13 teams in both the Under 15 and Under 16 categories, a competitive two-group system will be employed, culminating in the grand final on Friday, October 6. The tournament will witness intense matches, with day one featuring 24 matches, followed by rounds 3 and 4, and culminating in the final stage where the best teams will compete for the ultimate prize.

Besides being a stage for burgeoning talents, the National Youth Championships also offer a valuable opportunity for coaches and officials. Member Federation coaches will partake in coach education sessions and capture the attention of various scouts. The nominated match officials from Member Federations overseeing matches will also have a chance to impress and improve through education sessions and development opportunities.

Read the full article here.

Photo Courtesy Football Australia

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