Football Australia released the draw for the 2022 National Youth Championships today, which will see 58 teams featuring Australia’s best youth footballers converge on Coffs Harbour in September.
Northern NSW Football will host this year’s Football Australia National Youth Championships at C.ex Coffs International Stadium, Coffs Harbour. It will be the first edition of the tournament since 2019 with the event cancelled for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The National Youth Championships are the flagship talented youth player event in the Australian football calendar, where we are delighted to see almost 60 teams representing nine state and territory Member Federations at this year’s event,” Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson said.
“These championships pit our best emerging youth footballers from across the country against each other in tournament conditions, providing an important opportunity for national team technical staff to identify players for future honours. In doing so they will follow in the footsteps of many current and former Socceroos and CommBank Matildas.
“We look forward to joining the football community and other interested onlookers in Coffs Harbour next month to cheer on the future stars of Australian football, as they battle it out to become national champions.”
The under-14 Girls tournament will involve 10 teams, with 12 teams competing in the under-16 Girls tournament. Both age groups will run concurrently from 19 to 23 September.
The girls’ tournaments will feature two groups, where State and Territory Member Federation technical staff have allocated teams to groups based upon a ranking system, with a view to delivering a highly competitive yet fair championships for all involved.
After the group stage, the first-placed team from group A will play the third-placed team in group A, with the first-placed team from group B to face the second-placed team from group A in the semi-finals. The respective winners will contest the final on Friday 23 September.
The two boys’ tournaments will take place from 26 to 30 September, with 18 teams competing in the under-14 and under-15s divisions. Each age group will feature three groups, where like the girls’ tournaments the group composition has been determined by technical staff on a ranking system. This will see the first-placed team in each group and the best-placed runner-up progress to the semi-finals, with the final to held on Friday 30 September.
Northern NSW Football has hosted the championships since 2006 through the support of long-time partner Coffs Harbour City Council along with the NSW government, through the Office of Sport and Destination NSW.
“We can’t wait to welcome Australia’s best girls and boys teams to Coffs Harbour in September,” Northern NSW Football Head of Football Development Pete Haynes said.
“It is a massive effort to get to this tournament and I would like to thank everyone who has supported these players to follow their football dreams. The travel, time, dollars and encouragement from parents, family and friends is immense and something we are all grateful for.
“A further thank you to Football Australia and our government partners Destination NSW, Office of Sport and Coffs Harbour City Council for their support and commitment to football.”
It is estimated that this year’s National Youth Championships will attract 3,000 visitors to Coffs Harbour and surrounding areas, delivering strong economic benefits to the local economy while competitors will experience some of the state’s best regional sporting facilities.
“The National Youth Championships is an important pipeline for the development of Australia’s future professional and senior footballers, which will also draw thousands of competitors, supporters and officials to Coffs Harbour, providing a significant boost to the visitor economy of the Mid North Coast region,” Minister for Tourism and Regional Youth Ben Franklin.
“The NSW government is committed to delivering large-scale national events in our regional centres, to drive visitation across the state and achieve our goal of making NSW the premier visitor economy of the Asia Pacific.”
Coffs Harbour Mayor, Cr Paul Amos said the Coffs Coast was proud to be hosting the National Youth Championship again in September.
“The partnership between Northern NSW Football and Coffs Harbour City Council allows for these emerging stars of football to play at some of the best facilities that regional Australia has to offer, in a beautiful region that loves to host sporting events,” Mr Amos said.
“We can assure all the teams and supporters that they will be made very welcome come September.”
The event is free to attend, with no ticket required. Patrons will need to abide by the venue terms and conditions.