Wednesday, 23 July 2008 10:48 AM
The Friendship Games is an annual event that Football NSW hosts at Valentine Sports Park in Sydney. This year, the tournament commenced on Monday 7th of July and conclude on Saturday 12th of July 2008.
The Friendship Games features the best age group players from right across Australia, representing their respective states and territories. The ethos behind the Friendship Games is to foster a pressure free atmosphere for the players. This enables the participants to perform at their peak in a tournament that is comprised of the best age group players within Australia. On top of this, final results are not tabulated, nor a final conducted in the tournament. This acts as an introduction to the higher pressure events that the players will face in the upcoming years.
The Victorian Metro team performed the best with no losses and only conceding one goal for the whole tournament. The style of football played by Victoria was admired by other states and the “Vics” were complimented on being the best team at the tournament.
There were five South Melbourne Under 13 boys selected for the traveling squad, including (pictured from left to right) James Karvelis (Central Defender), Jonathan Parra (Right Wing), Peter Skapetis (Left Wing), Bradely Blumenthal (Striker) and Philip Petreski (Central Midfield). Peter and Bradley scored two goals each and Philip scored three. A great effort by all of our South juniors, who were the core of the starting line up in every competition game.
In addition to this fantastic achievement, three of our South juniors were named as emergencies for the tournament, with Carl Tai, Harrison Michaelis & Amir all very close to selection. The selection of these eight players identifies the amount of depth and quality junior footballers playing throughout the SMFC junior program.
From the games played in the national tournament, a Select XI was selected, comprising of 4 defenders, 4 midfielders, 2 strikers and 1 goalkeeper. SMFC would like to congratulate Peter Skapetis, who capped off a sensational tournament by earning the much sought after position as a midfielder in this national award.
It was also announced at the conclusion of the tournament that Australia will be sending an Under 14 national team to the Asia Cup in 2009 for the first time in the history of Australian football. This would allow for all of the 35 players (including all SMFC representatives) that participated in this tournament to be invited to trial in an attempt to receive such an honour. From these trials, a final squad of 20 will be selected to represent the Green & Gold.
We once again congratulate the boys for a fantastic achievement and wish them all the best in their quest for Green & Gold selection.