The best of WA’s young female footballers will be out to catch the eye next week when the Football West side competes in the NTC Challenge at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
Coach Jessine Bonzas will take a 17-girl squad to the AIS to play eight matches of 30 minutes each-way in five days.
The tournament, which begins on May 27, will be overseen by the national coaching staff who will be out to identify future players for the Young Matildas and full Matildas teams.
Bonzas refused to put a cap on how many WA players she believes will go on to achieve national selection but is confident her squad will do themselves justice.
“We have a strong squad of players and I believe they will all give a good account of themselves in what is an identification event,” Bonzas said.
“We get to play against all of the other States’ NTC teams so it will be a good test.”
The next FIFA U-20’s Women’s World Cup takes place in France in August this year. But it is two years down the line in 2020 which the national coaches will be building towards with the Young Matildas.
The Football West NTC team play in the Women’s Premier Division in WA, where they are allowed to field two players up to the age of 19. However, the NTC Challenge is a 17 and under tournament.
“We have two 15-year-olds and the rest are 16-17,” Bonzas added.
Football West Technical Manager and NTC Technical Director Cris Ola said: “This year’s NTC Challenge will be a new identification opportunity for a number of WA players for the Youth National Team.
“We have a competitive squad with an interesting blend of two U-15, eight U-16 and seven U-17 players which should perform well and attract some positive feedback from the national selectors.”
The NTC side train three times a week in Cockburn and Balga.
The Football West squad and coaching team, including Head Coach Jessine Bonzas (back row, second right). Photo by FotoEnzo
Football West squad: Morgan Aquino (GK), Miranda Templeman (GK), Ashling Devitt, Cheyenne Wise-Jarvis, Ashleigh Santich, Rosie Lehane, Georgie Ireland, Isabella Wallhead, Emma McMurdo, Annabelle Leek, Lexie Moreno, Danielle Suckling, Leticia McKenna, Thalia Organ, Zoee Spadano, Jenna Onions, Eden-Lee Schaffer.
Coach: Jessine Bonzas; Assistant Coach: Danielle Brogan; Manager: Lisa Tana; Goalkeeper Coach: Dylan Cope; Physio: Katie Holtham; Technical Director: Cris Ola