Cooler conditions settle in as National Youth Championships action continues to shine

Untitled design (1)

The National Youth Championships 2023 Boys’ Tournament is entering the pointy end following a thrilling day of action at Valentine Sports Park.

In stark contract to Tuesday, rain sprinkled across the day as the intensity levels lifted once again and the results became crucial as teams pushed for a spot in the finals.

Another healthy school holiday crowd were kept on the edge of their seat as matches went down to the wire with a raft of National Team selectors and former A-League stars also enjoying the action.

The Business End

Only a few group stage matches remain on Thursday, as the competition now enters the Championship stage with Semi-Finals just around the corner.

At the end of day three, Under 15 Western Australia and NSW Metro White are on top of Group B while Queensland White and Victoria Blue lead Group A.

In the Under 16s Age Group, Victoria White, NSW Metro White and Northern NSW are locked in a race for top spot separated only by goal difference in Group B while Victoria Blue stands alone at the top of Group A.

The first-placed team in each group and the best-placed runner-up progress to the semi-finals, with the final to be held on Friday, 6 October. The final matches of the group stages tomorrow will reveal the final placing and which teams progress to the Semi-Finals.

Livestreaming back in action

Irrespective of where you live in Australia, don’t miss a minute of the National Youth Championships 2023 Boys’ Semi-Finals and Finals, with all to be streamed live via the Football Australia YouTube Channel.

Tough Conditions Make for Great Opportunities 

With scorching heat on Tuesday and rainy, windy conditions today, Sydney has made things difficult for this year’s crop of National Youth Championships’ participants.

While the challenging conditions might a complaint for the players, Australia’s U-17 Men’s National Team Head Coach, Brad Maloney, said the conditions are a further test for the players as they look to show what they are made of on the national stage.

“Every state and territory has got its sprinkle of high-quality players and they’re all very competitive,” Maloney said.

“The intensity and the quality of the matches has been really good despite the extreme weather that we’ve had over the last couple of days, so I think the commitment and the determination by everybody’s been excellent.”

As the Subway Joeys enter a new cycle, Maloney has been keeping his eyes peeled from the stands ahead of future camps and tournaments.

Having the opportunity to gather the best and brightest in one venue is invaluable for Maloney and his team.

“I’ve really enjoyed being out here and looking at the talent that’s across the country,” Maloney continued.

“It’s good to bring them all together in a centralised location for a week-long tournament and have a good look at what everybody’s got from each state and territory. It’s really positive and exactly what we need when we’re looking at national team selection.

The National Youth Championships also offer the perfect opportunity for National Team Coaches to speak with Member Federation Coaches to share knowledge and make sure the pathways are staying as clear as possible.

“I’m in regular contact with the Technical Directors and coaches from each Member Federation and communicating with them about how their programmes are going and what players are coming through.

“For me and my staff to be able to attend and observe all matches across the five days is perfect, and it enables us to build upon that network within the football community which will support our national youth teams moving forward,” concluded Maloney.

McBreen’s Brimming with Excitement

What does an A-League legend get up to on a casual Wednesday afternoon during the school holidays? Come and watch the National Youth Championships of course.

“Why not come and have a look at the best kids in Australia?,” former Central Coast Mariners FC striker and Network 10 commentator, Daniel McBreen declared.

“I’m still involved in football and coaching kids in Newcastle but it’s just good to see what is out there.

“I’m talking with other coaches and Technical Directors about what they’re doing in their areas and what they’re doing to create talented players; so all together, it’s good to be here.”

With over 400 senior matches to his name across multiple countries and over 100 goals during that time, it’s fair to say the former Joe Marston Medal recipient (2013) knows a thing or two about football and says he’s been impressed with what he’s seen.

“There plenty of good players out there and for me, I like to look for the game breakers and the players who are looking to do something magic in the game,” continued McBreen.

“It’s a good learning curve for them and you can see even the improvement from some of the teams from day one to day three, playing in this high-level competition has been so important for their development.”

There’s not much that can throw the experienced campaigner but there was one thing he wasn’t prepared for at the National Youth Championships.

“The scary thing is that I’m starting to see some last names pop up from people I used to play with, so it shows how old we are as well.

“But it’s always good to see the old faces from around the tracks and to see a few of their kids coming through and continuing on the tradition,” concluded McBreen.

Ladder update

Due to unforeseen technical issues, the competition website is not displaying the correct ladder and results information. A resolution for this is currently being worked on. Live and up-to-date ladder information is available via the Gameday App by completing the steps outlined HERE.

More on the National Youth Championships:
See the National Youth Championships 2023 Program HERE
Watch the National Youth Championships 2023 HERE