Football Australia has announced that the 2023 National Youth Championships will be held across Wollongong and wider-Sydney.
The National Youth Championships are the flagship youth event in the Australian football calendar, with teams from Football Australia’s nine State and Territory Member Federations competing not only to claim the coveted national title, but to impress attending national team technical staff.
The National Youth Championship has long been an integral part of the Football Australia’s talent identification program, proving an important stepping-stone for many current CommBank Matildas and Subway Socceroos.
Taking place over 12 days in October, this year’s National Youth Championships will be held at the home of Football NSW, Valentine Sports Park at Glenwood for the Under 15 and 16 Boys (2 – 6 October), and WIN Stadium plus John Crehan Park, Wollongong for the Under 14 and 16 Girls (9 – 13 October).
For the past 16 years, the Championships has been successfully hosted in Coffs Harbour by Northern NSW Football, with the support of long-time partner, Coffs Harbour City Council in collaboration with the NSW Government, through the Office of Sport and Destination NSW.
Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson acknowledged the contribution of Northern New South Wales Football ahead of the tournament’s move to Wollongong and wider-Sydney.
“The National Youth Championships have been a huge success over more than a decade thanks to the work of Northern NSW Football, Coffs Harbour City Council and our NSW Government partners – the event leaves a lasting legacy on the mid-north coast region of NSW,” Johnson said.
“We’re delighted to now give the opportunity to another region to host one of Football Australia’s most important youth talent identification tournaments.
“Many current Subway Socceroos and CommBank Matildas have participated in the National Youth Championships, highlighting its importance as a national team pathways event for boys and girls,” Johnson concluded.
NSW Minister for Jobs and Tourism, John Graham said: “NSW is Australia’s home of football and principal host state for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, so I am pleased we are also hosting the National Youth Championships and providing an important pathway for future Matildas and Socceroos. As the nation’s leading youth football tournament, it will also draw thousands of competitors, supporters and officials to Wollongong and Western Sydney, providing a social and economic boost to both regions,” Graham stated.
The National Youth Championships will deliver strong economic benefits to the local economy, while competitors will experience some of New South Wales’s best regional sporting facilities.
Destination Wollongong General Manager, Mark Sleigh said: “As a proud football region, we’re delighted to host the Youth National Championships. Not only is it a great event for junior pathways, it will deliver a strong economic boost to the city and we’re able to show off our great outdoors, the diverse range of hospitality options in the city and our stunning stadium by the ocean.”