Perth Glory's youth side are set to tour Japan as part of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Hyundai A-League and J.League after accepting an invitation to participate in this year’s U-17 International Youth Cup in Nagano.
Football Federation Australia has received a grant from the Australia–Japan Foundation to fund a Hyundai A-League club's involvement in the tournament and after a grant process, Perth Glory has been awarded the funding.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop recently announced the successful grants, explaining that “The AJF Grants Program is designed to strengthen links between our two countries by supporting activities that bring innovative perspectives to how we engage with Japan.”
The International Youth Cup will see Perth Glory’s representative team battle against some of the best clubs around the world, and their involvement demonstrates the role football can play in building connections between countries.
The looming trip, follows a similar expedition to Malaysia earlier this year, where Glory competed in the U18s Frenz International Tournament.
The senior team also travelled to the Asia-Pacific in July for a 10-day pre-season tour of Manila and the Philippines.
Glory’s Head of Football Jacob Burns said the tournament would help expose the players to a different culture and showcase the brand to another part of the Asia-Pacific region.
“The tournament represents a tremendous opportunity to further develop our young PGFC footballers as well as exposing them to international football, a wonderful country, culture and way of life” he said.
“I have no doubt that the trip will assist our players in becoming more rounded individuals and further enhance their football education” Burns added.
Perth Glory Youth Coach John Gibson said the trip would be a great character building experience for the players.
“We are super pleased to participate in the J.League U17 International Youth Cup in Nagano. We are looking forward to competing against other J.League and international teams over Christmas”.
“It’s great to test these young footballers with same aged footballers from around the world – it provides a fantastic gauge where the players are at individually but also a great indication how our elite pathway is tracking” Gibson added.
The trip to Japan is an extension of the club’s four year strategic plan “The Perth Glory Way” which is aimed at forging strong ties in Asia and cultivating and nurturing a Perth Glory fan base within the region.
Glory’s youth team will leave for Japan just before Christmas to take part in the tournament which runs between December 18 and 26.