WA’s U16 State team completed a successful tour of China where they participated in the Jinshan International Youth Football Cup in July.
The team kicked off their campaign with a good performance despite losing to Spanish side Grenada, 2-0.
They then cruised to a stunning 6-1 victory over host club Shanghai Shenxin in hot and humid conditions before losing their final group game 4-1 to China’s national team.
Head coach Garry Church was delighted with the team’s performance against Shanghai.
“The score was a great result for our team and the product of the lesson they took from their first game,” Church said.
“The game provided some extremely impressive passages of play with several individuals upping their performance levels.”
Church said the conditions, coupled with nerves, had played a big part in the team’s loss to Granada on the first day of the competition.
“We conceded a goal in the 16th minute and found ourselves on the back foot for most of the first half,” he said.
“The second half was a different story. We changed tactics and after 10 minutes the players started to find their feet.”
Church said the players had more possession and had more success in pressing the Spanish team in their defensive third.
“Our squad was unfortunate not to equalise and a cross from wide gave Granada the winner,” he said.
As well as training, playing and recovering, the team managed to take in the sights of Shanghai, including the Chenhuang Temple, Shanghai Bund, Shanghai Tower and Oriental Pearl Tower.
They also visited the Quanwei Middle School and witnessed a Chinese Super League top-of-the-table clash between Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou Evergrande where Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo was in attendance.