As another school term comes to an end, we take a look back at the April school holidays, where new and exciting talent emerged at Football Victoria's inaugural State Championships.
On the 8th and 9th of April, Football Victoria's inaugural State Championships attracted more than 600 players, 30 coaches and 1500 spectators to the Darebin International Sports Centre.
The tournament showcased our state's finest young talent from across metro Melbourne and key regional hubs, including Mildura, Ballarat, Bendigo, Gippsland, Shepparton and Wodonga.
Boris Seroshtan, FV Technical Director praised the quality on show and the talent identification opportunities it provided.
“Players from regional and metro Victoria have a great opportunity to be viewed by state coaches in a highly competitive environment. This aligns with our strategy for our talented youth players to receive more opportunities, more often.”
Boys within the U13-17 age brackets competed in the tournament, all of which had been identified through the FV Talent Identification and Development Centres (TIDC).
Andrew Kentepozidis, FV Boys Talent Development Manager was thrilled with the event's new format, stating it would provide benefits for both players and coaches.
“The coaching staff were very impressed with the quality of players on display. This is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the players during the early phase of season. For everyone involved the event laid a great foundation leading into the training blocks and Elite Matches,” Kentepozidis said.
While players got the opportunity to compete against other elite youngsters, FV’s Technical Staff and coaches scouted the championships to identify players for Elite Matches & State Team representation ahead of Football Australia’s National Youth Championships.
Kevin Grima, Football Australia Boys Youth Development Manager, was thrilled with the standard of football on display and reinforced the importance of competitive football for young players.
“These Championships offer us an opportunity to monitor and benchmark players. Talent ID events of this magnitude play a major role in the realisation of The XI Principles for the future of Australian Football, in particular, Principle V: More football, more often: increasing match minutes for youth football,” Grima said.
“Football Australia staff look forward to attending events of this kind in the future as we continue to work collaboratively with our Member Federations to provide young players with opportunities to showcase their skills and talents.”
In the July School Holidays, players in the TIDC program will return to Darebin International Sports Centre to compete in at the State Gala Day. The day will once again provide players with the opportunities for recognition ahead of elite matches and the Football Australia National Youth Championships.