Perth Glory Under 17’s side has returned home from the J. League International Youth Cup in Japan with a fantastic 6th place finish in the very strong eight-team tournament.
After winning its historic first game in an overseas tournament- a 3-1 win against Matsumoto- Glory eventually faced off against Argentine side Club Estudiantes in the 5th and 6th play-off, and in a tight game, with chances at both ends, a goal from Matias Gonzalez gave the Argentinians the win.
Glory Head Coach John Gibson said the tournament was a great learning curve for his very young sid.
“We were very pleased with the performances of the group and with a little better application of our fundamentals - we could’ve been rewarded for our performances,” he said.
“But overall we were seriously competitive in all games except for a poor performance against FC Tokyo,” he said.
“We were the youngest squad over there by far, and for most of the players, it was their first taste of international football which is vastly different from the competition that they are used to.
“It was such an amazing tournament and it was such a privilege for our club to be a part of - no doubt the group has gained some invaluable experiences from this incredible international tournament."
Skipper on the tour was midfielder Jack Leech and he said it will be a trip he will never forget.
“It was a great opportunity for us, it was a trip that none of us will forget, and a trip we will all experience from,” he said.
“It was great being exposed to that level of quality and for us to be able to compare how we are to other people around the world in the same age group.
“The trip also allowed us to see what areas individually and as a team, we need to improve on and that we can also complete and challenge everyone we play which is a very promising outcome.
“ I love being captain, I loved the challenge of it and the experience I gained from it. It's something I see being a big part of my game so it's something I really enjoyed.”
Glory Youth is back in action in the Foxtel National Youth League action on Wednesday, January 4th, when the team travels to Victoria to take on Melbourne Victory at Epping Stadium.
Gibson said they were hoping to continue from the last game against the Victory where they won 5-1.
“We look forward to the travel to Melbourne and look forward to another consistent and strong performance,” he said.
"Every moment is an opportunity to be the best we can be and the message, doesn't change - process driven, is the ethos.