Three Queensland players were named in the squad to represent Australia at the upcoming 2019 AFF U-15 Championship in Thailand earlier this week after coming through Queensland player pathways.
Brisbane Roar Academy players Kane Gibbs and Jack Warshawsky will join Gold Coast United FC junior Jack Pirone in the 23-player Joeys squad selected by Trevor Morgan.
Football Queensland (FQ) Talent Support Program (TSP) and Gold Coast United Under 15 player Pirone was the sole representative named from a National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland club.
A former Queensland Metro representative at both Under 13 and Under 14 level, Pirone entered the NPL system with Gold Coast City, going on to be one of seven Gold Coast United players selected in this year’s Under 15 FQ TSP squad.
FQ’s Talent Support Program provides talented young players aged between 13 and 16 access to a quality training environment to complement their club training, and aims to develop players in line with FFA’s individual and team playing principles.
Over 70 players were invited to take part in the selection process for 2019, before the final group of 20 got the chance to participate in a match against the Brisbane Roar Academy in front of Joeys Head Coach Trevor Morgan and his staff.
FQ High Performance Officer (Men & Boys) Pat Hedges said it was on this stage that the young Gold Coast player had the chance to be noticed by Morgan.
“In Australia we have some players who are exciting, creative individuals; Jack has all of that plus he is positive, unpredictable, has an awareness of space and is difficult to defend against,” Hedges said.
“It was these qualities that Trevor Morgan noticed.”
Morgan was also in attendance at the FQ Quad Series event held in Brisbane in May, identifying the next crop of talent from some of the best Under 15 and Under 16 players in the state.
A number of TSP squads from around Queensland have competed at FQ Quad Series events this year, coming up against their peers from other parts of the state.
The events also form part of the selection process for both Queensland Metro (U13-U14) and Queensland Country squads for the FFA National Youth Championships for Boys in September.
The three young Queenslanders named this week will travel to attend a short training camp in Narrabeen, north of Sydney ahead of their trip to Thailand with the Joeys squad.
Australia will commence their Group Stage matches on July 28 against Cambodia before facing Laos (July 30), Malaysia (August 1), hosts Thailand (August 3) and Brunei Darussalam (August 5).
Image: Gold Coast United FC