The country’s brightest footballing talent will converge on Townsville in mid-April when Football Australia conducts an under-16s National Talent Identification Camp for boys.
The camp, to be held from 11 April to 15 April, will feature Australian-based players born in 2006 participating in five days of football-related activities at facilities across the north Queensland city. This includes the North Queensland Cowboys’ newly opened Community, Training and High-Performance Centre with its elite multi-sport training spaces, sports medicine and sports science laboratories.
Toronto Awaba JFC junior Angus Muddle and Newcastle Olympic FC junior Janni Rafty, both from the Newcastle Jets academy, will represent Northern NSW Football in the squad.
NNSWF Youth Technical Director Kew Jaliens has also been invited to attend the camp.
Over the course of the camp, the boys will play an internal 11 v 11 elite match on Tuesday 12 April at Queensland County Bank Stadium and against a local select team on Thursday 14 April at 1300SMILES Active Park – home of Football Queensland in Townsville. Both matches will be streamed live across Australia to enable clubs, coaches and scouts to support their identification programs. Football Australia will publish the stream links for these two matches via its social media channels.
Players have been invited to attend this Football Australia talent identification camp following ongoing scouting via a network of technical staff at Member Federations, who monitor players within school competitions, at club level, talent support programs, plus within the National Premier Leagues and A-League Academies.
Trevor Morgan, Football Australia’s Head of Technical Direction, Pathways & Coach Education & Australian under-17s Men’s Head Coach said the camp would give invitees the chance to push for selection in impending Australian under-17s squads.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our national youth teams have been in hiatus for the past two years and this camp will be the first time we’ve been able to bring together some of the country’s best emerging players for a talent identification camp as we prepare for future international games and tournament campaigns,” Morgan said.
“The Joeys will start qualifying as an under-16 team later this year vying for a place at the 2023 AFC under-17 Asian Cup in Bahrain. This is the first camp for domestic players who are age-eligible and we aim to provide more opportunities for players born in 2006 and younger throughout the year to ensure we have the best team possible to represent our nation.
“This squad has been selected through collaboration with clubs and Member Federation technical staff to ensure we are scouting further than before.”
Like Football Australia’s recent under-23 talent ID camp held in Netherlands, Morgan will be supported in camp by a number of former Socceroos. Scott Macdonald, Mark Milligan and Luke Wilkshire will join the coaching staff alongside Member Federation technical staff to provide both assistance and inspiration for these players.
Several Member Federation technical support staff will also be in attendance to observe how their state-based talent performed, take learnings back to their respective Member Federation and enhance collaboration between all stakeholders as Football Australia looks to further strengthen the pathway of its national youth teams.
To further assist the development of coaching and sports science sports medical staff throughout Member Federations, Football Australia has provided the opportunity for Football Queensland staff to play an active role in this camp, where they will be under the tutelage of national team technical staff. North and Far North Queensland-based football coaches will also be invited to attend an exclusive Coach Education Workshop.
“Through the strong support of Football Queensland and their team in the Northern Region, we’ve been able to organise a well-structured camp utilising the world-leading facilities in Townsville whilst providing plenty of opportunities for the local football community to participate in elements of the camp,” Morgan said.
Nathan Magill, Football Australia’s Head of Referees, has nominated Tim Danaskos and Jack Morgan to attend this camp to officiate the 11 v 11 Elite Match and local select game.
This under-16 Talent Identification Camp commences three days after Townsville hosts the Commonwealth Bank Matildas and New Zealand Football Ferns tonight, in what will be the first time an Australian senior national football team has played in North Queensland.