Four of Football West’s State sides will take part in a three-day talent identification tournament at Beale Park this weekend.
The Gold Fields Boys WA State Under 14s and Under 15s, plus the Gold Fields Girls WA State Under 14s and Under 16s, will be joined by 22 other sides including one from Northern Territory.
There will also be teams representing WA Country, State School Sports, Hyundai TSP, as well as Perth Glory and Rockingham City (boys) and Carramar Shamrock Rovers and Fremantle City (girls).
Football West Football Development Officer Gareth Naven said it was important to give the players the chance to impress after the National Youth Championships for both boys and girls were cancelled for the second straight year due to Covid.
“Talent identification doesn’t stop even though we can’t have a National Championships,” Naven said.
“We have a large talent pool in WA outside of Perth Glory and we want to give them this opportunity.
“Five players who are in the Boys State Team squads have already been offered a position with the Glory academy and that is great credit to them and their clubs.
“From the 14s, Giovanni De Abreu at ECU Joondalup, Noah Ieraci and Paaveen Waran at Perth Soccer Club, Louis Sollitt from Joondalup United, and Mark Cinzah at Ellenbrook United have all been invited to Glory. And from the 15s, Gabe Leo at Bayswater City.
“We had two elite training sessions and a State Team elite match against Glory. From there they were invited to participate in Glory trials, and no doubt Glory will have seen them performing for their clubs.
"I'd also like to mention Logan Lawty, who plays for South West Phoenix and is in the Under 14 State Team. It is always good recognise a player from the regions being selected.”
Naven said this weekend’s tournament, which runs from Friday to Sunday, was also a stage for players who might not otherwise get noticed.
“We really appreciate Gold Fields getting behind this tournament. Each team will play one game on Friday, two on Saturday and two on Sunday.
“It is great to have sides from WA Country and it’s also a good opportunity to start to connect with State School Sports as often they get overlooked.
“We want to have different capture points, so we don’t deselect people too early. Kids can come in and see where they are at and, of course, have fun playing football.”
The six categories are U12, U14, U15 and U16 Boys and U14 and U16 Girls.