ASC grant helps bring international football to Shepparton

Shepparton will host this week’s AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers, where Australia will take on teams from the Northern Mariana Islands, Cambodia and China.

The Joeys opened their Group G campaign on Wednesday night with a comfortable 23-0 victory over the Northern Mariana Islands. They will face Cambodia on Friday, October 7 (7:30 pm AEDT) and China on Sunday, October 9 (3:00 pm AEDT).

The event has been supported by the Australian Sports Commission’s Regional Sporting Events Fund, which has already distributed nearly $2 million to 101 rural and regional councils. The fund was established to help boost local economies in the Australia region and engage communities to reconnect through sport following the impacts of COVID-19.

Councils estimate that the events have attracted around 100,000 spectators and participants so far, with several more to come.

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Shane Sali said it was amazing to see Greater Shepparton as the only Australian city to host this international event.

“Greater Shepparton puts on sporting events better than anyone and the fact that we have been chosen to host the AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers is proof that we are in a perfect position to host the biggest international events. ”, Cr Sali said.

“Our community has a proud football history and we are proud to invest in world-class facilities and we are very grateful for the support of the Federal Government through the Regional Sporting Events Fund, which has allowed us to secure this prestigious event and further promote our remodeled. Shepparton Sports City.

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“This is a huge coup for Greater Shepparton as it brings another international event to our region and strengthens our position as Australia’s regional sports and events capital.”

Australia men’s U-17 team head coach Brad Maloney named the 23 Joeys players who will represent Australia in the qualifiers earlier this week.

The final team was selected after an intense two-week training camp in Melbourne, which featured three matches against the Victorian NPL and A-League junior men’s team opposition.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers are the first international activity for the Joeys program since 2019.

These AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers mark the first time Australia has hosted a Qualifying Group or Qualifiers of any AFC Junior tournament since 2009 and presents a special opportunity for the Joeys to play in front of family and friends.

First place in Group G will guarantee a spot at next year’s AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023™ in Kuwait, with only the top five second-ranked teams joining them in the tournament.

“I think guys are pretty excited about the prospect of playing at home and families are excited to see their kids at home, so it’s definitely something they look forward to,” Maloney said.

“I just want them to enjoy the experience and use it as an opportunity to showcase their skills on the international stage. I really hope they can take it easy, and I’m sure they will, as we look to qualify for the 2023 AFC U-17 Asian Cup™.”

Free tickets for the qualifiers are available through Eventbrite and the matches are streamed live on the MyFootball YouTube channel.

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