A bunch of Perth Glory’s rising stars will have the unique chance to enjoy a white Christmas this year as the club prepares to showcase its skills in the 2016 J.League International Youth Cup.
Running in its second year, the tournament will be held in Nagano Japan.
The tournament will see eight teams compete in a round-robin before a series of finals take place.
Perth Glory FC is the only Australian football club invited to participate in the tournament which will boast household teams like FC Tokyo (last year’s Champions) and South American giants Estudiantes which were runners-up in the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup. Estuandiantes has produced big name players including Argentine great Juan Sebastian Veron who is now the club’s Chairman.
Other participating teams include Japanese outfit Sanfrecce Hiroshima Youth, who were last year’s runner-up, and Yamaga U-18 and Kyoto Sanga U-18.
Busan IPark from South Korea and Figueirense from Brazil makeup the rest of the contingent.
The tournament is not only aimed at promoting football in Japan but also aimed at promoting youth football development within Asia.
Glory’s youth Coach John Gibson said this expedition will be vital for Glory’s young guns.
“It will provide an opportunity to perform against big teams from the continents of Asia & South America. It iwll be an awesome experience,” he said.
“We will be selecting players from within our Talented Elite Pathway aged 1999-2002 – however the international tournament is a U17 (1999) age group,” he said.
Glory embarked on a similar tour when they competed in the U18s Frenz International Tournament in Malaysia in May.
“Holistically speaking it provides exposure from a football perspective but also from culture and life experience as well,” Gibson said.
“Playing on Christmas Day, going from weather of 35C to 2C. It’s absolutely amazing & vitally important to the development of our Perth Glory FC players” he said.
Glory’s youth team will leave for Japan just before Christmas to take part in the tournament which runs between December 21 and 25, 2016.
Forging ties in the Asia-Pacific region is one of the club’s aims of its four year strategic plan: “The Perth Glory Way” and this tour will help foster and unearth new relationships in the region.
The J.League will stream the entirety of the 2016 J.League International Youth Cup on its official YouTube and Face-book pages.
Following streaming, all matches will be archived on the J.League’s official YouTube channel for future viewing.
Streaming Platform URLs:
JLeague.jp (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/user/jleaguechannel
J.League Official Facebook: www.fb.com/jleagueofficial (Venue: Nagano Athletic Stadium