On the 28th of October 2019, the Victorian Under 15 representative squad set off to Malaysia for an opportunity to experience an environment overseas while playing against international opposition teams.
The squad was selected from the Football Victoria (FV) Talent Identification and Development Centre (TIDC) program after completing four training blocks throughout the year; inclusive of gala days and a training camp at Geelong Grammar.
The team spent 8 days in Malaysia playing 3 matches, training and experiencing another culture. The tour also gave players an opportunity to understand the type of environment in which our National youth teams experience when qualifying through Asia.
The players had to adapt to off-field conditions as well as playing several matches in a short space of time, placing an importance on their recovery from match to match. On field they displayed strong performances against quality opposition, which is a credit to the preparation from the players and coaching staff.
Game 1 - Victoria 4 - 0 Salengor FA
Victoria played its first match against Salengor FA; a Malaysian Super League team that has won the most domestic trophies in Malaysia.
The Victorian side started off strong against Salengor by scoring early in the match. After a tough middle period of the match, Victoria finished off with three fantastic goals as Salengor chased the equaliser.
Game 2 - Victoria 2 - 1 AMD Malaysia
AMD Malaysia, the National development program which works in a similar format to the AIS, provided a great test for the Victorian squad. AMD Malaysia was on top of the match with some excellent passages of play and finding the back of the net early in the match. Victoria worked their way back into the game by scoring a nice goal to level the score 1-1 before half time. The second half was played throughout tough conditions as Victoria scored to take the lead 2-1 with 20 minutes to go. AMD Malaysia pushed for an equaliser and was kept out with some fantastic saves from Victorian Goalkeeper William Sparrow.
Game 3 - Victoria 2 - 1 JDT
JDT, the Johor based side, has won a record of five Malaysian Super League titles in a row from 2014-2019 .
In a very competitive match the Victorian side scored first through some nice build up play and a strong finish. JDT equalised shortly after with the teams locked at 1-1 at half time. The second half saw the Victorian team score after another great finish to win the match.
The competitive matches provided the players with an experience against teams that have a different style of play, in comparison to what they are familiar with in their local competition. Overall, the tour was a great success with players providing very positive feedback on the trip. We would like to thank the coaching and team staff for their hard work and preparation for the tour.