National Youth Championships back for first time since 2019

Football Australia is pleased to announce the National Youth Championships will return in 2022, having been sidelined due to the COVID pandemic for the past two years.

Taking place over 11 days in September, this year’s national football tournament for Under 14 and 16 Girls (19 – 23 September), and Under 14 and 15 Boys (26 – 30 September) will be hosted by Northern NSW Football in Coffs Harbour, where matches will be played at C.ex Coffs International Stadium.

Teams from Football Australia’s nine State and Territory Member Federations will compete over five days to not only claim the coveted national title, but to impress attending National team and technical staff from Football Australia.

National Youth Championships 2022 - Coffs Harbour

The last time the championships took place, in 2019, Football West returned as Boys U14 national champions.

Football West has held its initial set of trials for its two Gold Fields Boys State teams and two Gold Fields Girls State teams. Further trials are now taking place for players who have advanced in the process, with the final squads to be announced in the near future.

Football West Football Development Officer Gareth Naven said: "It is exciting to again be able to offer our talented boys and girls the opportunity to represent Western Australia and test themselves against the other up-and-coming youngsters from around the country.

"The National Youth Championships are a fabulous opportunity for talent identification and act as a pathway for future Socceroos and Matildas."

Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson said: “National Youth Championships have not been contested since 2019, so we are delighted to see the return of Football Australia’s primary national football and showpiece tournament, which forms an important part of our talent identification program and the national team pathway for boys and girls.

“Many current Socceroos and Commonwealth Bank Matildas participated in the National Youth Championships on their journey to junior and senior national team selection, demonstrating the calibre of talent that will be showcasing their wares in Coffs Harbour later this year.

“Football Australia would like to acknowledge the endeavours of Northern NSW Football who have been both welcoming and well organised hosts of this event for over fifteen years, and we look forward to witnessing the prowess of the country’s best emerging players, coaches and officials at this year’s National Youth Championships,” Johnson said.

Northern NSW Football has hosted the Championships since 2006 through the support of long-time partner, Coffs Harbour City Council along with the NSW Government, through the Office of Sport and Destination NSW.

Northern NSW Football’s Chief Executive Officer David Eland said: “Northern NSW Football is thrilled to welcome Australia’s best emerging talent back to Coffs Harbour. We have a proud football tradition in northern NSW, producing many Socceroos and Matildas, and this is a fantastic opportunity to witness the future of Australian football on the field.

“I would like to thank Football Australia and our government partners, Destination NSW, Office of Sport and Coffs Harbour City Council for their support and commitment to football,” concluded Eland.

It’s estimated that this year’s National Youth Championships will attract 3,000 visitors to Coffs Harbour and surrounding areas, delivering strong economic benefits to the local economy, while competitors will experience some of New South Wales best regional sporting facilities.