Despite his side suffering back-to-back defeats to open their UEFA ASSIST U17 Tournament in Turkey, Australian Under 17 boss Trevor Morgan is pleased with the exposure his young group has gained to international competition.
Australia’s U17s – “the Joeys” – suffered a 4-1 defeat in their opening match of the tournament against Turkey on Tuesday; Sporting Lisbon’s Tristan Hammond’s second-half penalty sandwiched between two Turk goals in either half.
Making nine changes to his XI the next day, Morgan would then watch on as his side took a 2-1 lead into the halftime interval against Tanzania thanks to goals from Sydney FC’s Ryan Teague and Rockdale City Sun Noah Botic.
Two late goals to the African side, however, condemned Australia to its second defeat in two days.
Australia is the only Asian side represented at the tournament being staged in Antalya, Turkey. Belarus, Montenegro and Turkey are representing the host confederation at the competition, whilst Angola, Cameroon, Guinea, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda are representing Africa.
“Our major objective is to see some new talent whilst also giving some established players more international experience,” Morgan said.
“The tournament so far has allowed us to see players under full match pressure and against very different opposition to our AFC Championships, so we have been able to see who can handle different pressures and adapt to situations while trying to execute passages of play in the Australian style.
“With 11 new players coming into contention I have been very pleased with their attitude and desire to come together as a group and try to fit within our structures.
“They have produced some excellent moments and some players performances have shown where our squad can be stronger.”
Australia will finish its UEFA ASSIST tournament on Saturday when they clash with another African side in Guinea.