Perth Glory youngsters Riley Warland and Trent Ostler are hoping to star on the international stage after being named in the Australia squad for the AFF Under-15s Youth Championship to be held in Thailand.
Joeys’ coach Tony Vidmar has selected a 23-player squad for the tournament which begins on July 9th and having spent this week in a pre-tournament camp in Bangkok, the group are set to head to Chonburi on Friday.
Glory’s NPL Head Coach John Gibson was delighted to see two of his young charges earning international recognition and is hoping that the pair will relish the tournament experience.
“Both players have been tremendous this year,” he said, “and the club wishes them all the best in Thailand with the Joeys.
“Riley has been super in the NPL first-team this season and has shown a great deal of maturity for a player so young.
“Trent continues to improve and has been outstanding in the Under-18s and was also good in the tour of Japan earlier in the season.”
Warland himself, who has burst into the Glory NPL senior side this season, put his impressive development down to a combination of hard work, commitment and good coaching.
“I have put a great deal of work in and I’ve sacrificed a lot to be where I am now,” he said, “but I’m aware that there is still such a massive journey ahead of me.
“It’s been a good season for me, I got my chance at the start of the season to train in the first-team at Glory and I have proved myself enough to play.
“I worked really hard for my spot in the team and I have a really good relationship with Head Coach John Gibson as well which has helped a lot.
“I’ve also worked closely with [Community and Development Manager] Callum Salmon, who has pushed me to be the best I can be and I’m still working hard.
“Gibbo and Callum work really well together, which helps all the players improve their game.”
The 15-year-old defender went on to reveal that he has enjoyed this week’s training camp and feels that the group is well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.
“Training has been pretty different, seeing as we are getting used to the conditions over here,” he said, “but apart from that, it’s been going really well.
“The squad is looking very good and I think we have all bonded very well together.
“Tony (Vidmar) is a great coach to work with; he’s very understanding.”
Ostler, meanwhile, is understandably thrilled to have been handed the opportunity to represent his country and he also paid tribute to the work put in by his coaches at club level.
“Being selected for the squad was very exciting,” he said.
“I have been working hard to achieve this and have always wanted to play for my country and now I will be able to achieve my dream.
“Gibbo and Callum have been great influences on my development and I thank them and hope I can perform well and repay their work on the pitch.”
The Joeys have been drawn alongside hosts Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia and Singapore in Group A of the tournament which acts as a lead-up to the 2018 AFC Under 16s Championship qualifiers set to take place in September.