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The WA State team selected to travel to China: Back Row (L-R): .Physio James Grafton, Assistant Coach James Young, Nicholas Speca, Panashe Kuzamba, Kyle Thistlethwaite, George Norton, Ben Steele, Danny O'Shea, Ben Hinshelwood, Yared Nadew, Conor McKee, Oleg Tarshin, Ben Martens, coach Garry Church Front Row (L-R): Lewis Collier, Jonah Madeira, Charlie Betts, Andres Lagos, Matthew Jones, Daniel Harrison, Connor Atkinson

WA team selected for China tournament

Football West News

Western Australia’s U16 team will fly to Shanghai on Thursday to take part in the Jinshan International Youth Football Cup.

The Jinshan tournament includes representative teams from Nigeria, Bahrain and China, as well as clubs from Spain and the Czech Republic, and host side Shanghai Shenxin.

A series of trials were conducted to determine the WA players most suited to the high-quality opposition they will face in Shanghai.

Players were drawn from 11 National Premier Leagues Western Australia clubs and have been training for the tournament for the past two months.

WA State team coach Garry Church, who has spent five years working with juniors in his role with governing body Football West, has selected a balanced squad that will benefit from the experience of their first international tournament.

“It will be a great experience for the players to go up against high-calibre opposition from around the world,” he said.

“Our squad has been training well over the past few weeks and it will be a great challenge against such good opposition and teams of players who’ve been playing together for quite some time. But we have talented players of our own and with the right attitude, which I’m sure all players will have, they’ll perform very well and get so much out of this, which will be an experience of a lifetime for some.”

Football West CEO James Curtis said the tournament would provide players with an exceptional football experience.

“Our State team’s involvement in the tournament will give some of our most promising young players a unique sporting and cultural experience,” he said.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for them to be in a professional environment with the prospect of taking on some exceptional players but also giving them a chance to showcase their skills on an international stage.”

The tournament will be hosted by the Jinshan People’s Government, the Shanghai Jinshan Sports Bureau and the Shanghai Shenxin Football Club.

The competition will consist of two groups of four teams playing a single round robin with the top two teams from each group entering a knockout stage.

WA State squad:

Jersey No.

Name

Club

1

Connor Atkinson

Armadale FC

2

Charlie Betts

Balcatta FC

3

Lewis Collier

Melville City FC

4

Daniel Harrison

Balcatta FC

5

Ben Hinselwood

ECU Joondalup FC

6

Matt Jones

Perth SC

7

Panache Kuzamba

Armadale FC

8

Andres Lagos

ECU Joondalup FC

9

Jonah Madeira

Cockburn City FC

10

Ben Martens

ECU Joondalup FC

11

Connor McKee

Bayswater City FC

12

Yarred Nadew

Balcatta FC

13

George Norton

Sorrento FC

14

Danny O’Shea

ECU Joondalup FC

15

Nick Speca

Subiaco FC

16

Ben Steele

South West Phoenix FC

17

Oleg Tarshin

Cockburn City FC

18

Kyle Thistlethwaite

Stirling Lions FC

Head Coach/ Head of Delegation

Garry Church

Assistant Coach

James Young

Physiotherapist/Trainer

Ian Morris

Physiotherapist/Trainer

James Grafton