They may have suffered the agony of a ‘Golden Goal’ defeat at the hands of Urawa Red Diamonds in the final, but that bitter blow did nothing to take the shine off a truly remarkable display from the PGFC Academy Under-16 side at the JSSL Singapore 7s tournament.
Liverpool were among their victims in the group stage, while the semi-finals saw them vanquish another English giant in the form of Manchester United.
Indeed, the only game they lost throughout the entire tournament was the final.
Little wonder then, that Coach John Gibson was absolutely delighted with his young charges.
“Even though we finished as runners-up for a second consecutive year [they were beaten by Sporting Lisbon in 2017] and losing to a Golden Goal in 3v3 extra-time was tough to take,” he said, “it was a fantastic performance by the the group both on and off the pitch.
“To experience international football against the like Liverpool, Valencia, Manchester United, Fulham and Urawa Red Diamonds is great fun and a wonderful challenge. But to not just compete against them but beat them is super.”
Gibson was quick to praise the entire travelling party, each of whom played a key role in driving Glory to produce another hugely impressive showing at one of the highest profile events of its kind in the world.
“Credit must go the whole group as they gave everything they had in every game,” he said. “To go undefeated throughout all eight games is a super performance. Also, a big thanks to the staff, Callum Salmon, Danny Milosevic, Cam Lord and Elliot Burton, who helped make the trip an easy and enjoyable one. It’s pleasing that we are doing things well within our Academy up and down the elite pathway.
“Overall, it was a hugely successful international tournament and thanks must go to JSSL Singapore who were incredible hosts. We look forward to participating in it and performing well again next year.”
Those sentiments were echoed by fellow-coach Callum Salmon who felt that the youngsters’ work ethic helped stand them in good stead.
“I’m extremely proud of all the players who have been working since September of last year to prepare to play some of the biggest clubs in world football,” he said. “Their hard work, dedication and quality made them a privilege to be involved with on a day-to-day basis both in training and then at the tournament itself.”
All the highlights can be viewed by clicking the links below:
On behalf of everyone associated with Perth Glory ,we’d like to congratulate all those involved!