NORTH Companions Under 17s head to Inverell for their fourth year of competition in the Joeys’ Mini World Cup on Monday.
Yet to win at the challenging football tournament modelled on the World Cup, the Jason Cannon-coached side plays in this year’s Under 17 competition as Australia.
“We came fourth in our first year,” Cannon said. “That’s the best we’ve done.”
His side is staying at the local basketball stadium.
“We stayed there the first year,” he recalled.
“It’s a great atmosphere there and we have a good bunch of kids.”
The North Companions side will be tested too, Cannon said.
Not just because they will be playing some talented players and sides from across the region and into Queensland.
“We have two games on Monday,” Cannon said.
That means an early start Monday morning to drive the two and half hours to Inverell for their first game at 11.40am.
“It’s going to be a good test for us,” he said.
“We are going to have to bring our A game every game.”
The good thing for Cannon is the fact the “majority of our squad has been up there the last four years”.
“It’s most probably their final year, definitely mine,” he said.
“It’s a great tournament for everyone now. The kids love the whole week.
“They’ve all been down the street trying to find every musical instrument they can find.”
While the Mini World Cup starts in Inverell, the FFA National Youth Championship for Boys begins in Coffs Harbour.
Northern Inland Football has seven representatives, four in the NNSW Country Under 13s – Jack Diebold, Ben Gamlin, Will Menz and Harrison Taylor – and three in the NNSW Country Under 14s – Sam Fulwood, Cody McCann and Brodie Patterson.
Armidale’s Andy Lennon is head coach of the NNSW Country 14s.