SAM Modderno from Taree and Wingham’s Keegan Hughes were selected to take part in the Australian under 17 Joeys soccer camp conducted at Valentine Sports Park.
The three-day camp, run by head coach and former Socceroo Tony Vidmar provided players with an opportunity to state their claim for selection in the squad to contest the AFC under 16 championship 2018 qualifiers.
Sam and Keegan were among seven players from Northern NSW Football identified from the NNSWF Metro and NNSWF Country squads, which participated at the FFA National Youth Championships for Boys in October last year.
“The selection of seven from Northern NSW to attend the national camp is reflective of the effectiveness of NNSWF’s Talented Player Pathway, which provides boys from throughout NNSW with the opportunity to be identified for national representation through their participation at the National Youth Championships for Boys,” NNSWF chief executive David Eland said.
Keegan Hughes and Sam Modderno’s selection highlights the increasing importance of the of PS4 NPL NNSW Youth competition. Keegan and Sam were identified through their strong performances for Football Mid North Coast and were selected for NNSWF Country squads in the FFA National Youth Championships. Keegan started in the Emerging Jets program this year.
The final selection will be announced at the end of this month and their first test as a squad will be in July as the squad travel to Thailand to compete in the U15 AFF Friendly Tournament.
The official AFC U-16 World Cup Qualifiers will kick off in September in Mongolia where Australia have been placed in Group I and will take on Vietnam, Mongolia, and Cambodia.
Meanwhile Football Mid North Coast chairman Mike Parsons reports there are 6493 registered players in the zone.
“This is much in line with last year however with some registrations still outstanding and still open we may still see an incremental increase for this year,’’ he said.
“However after two record years and still under maintained and overused fields and available time slots and a lack of sufficient lighting in many of our areas, this is a great outcome.
“We press on with our reasonable desire to succeed with our agenda to get increased lighting and improved grounds and allocations of grounds so that we can adequately cater for the certain growth of our numbers. It still is a source of amazement that despite our sport’s huge numbers and associated supporters out-numbering all of the other major team sports to the extent of up to 6 to 1, we remain iniquitous in terms of facility maintenance and upgrades and additional grounds to cater for our growth and the ability to play our game on adequate playing surfaces.’’