Kanga Cup Triumph for Malvern City Juniors
The Kanga Cup is the longest running youth football tournament in the southern hemisphere
The Kanga Cup is the longest running youth football tournament in the southern hemisphere and is considered the pre-eminent youth competition in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Held annually each July in Canberra, the week-long event has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1991. The Cup is now in its 22nd year of operation and has always attracted a strong international contingent, in addition to local Canberra and interstate sides. This year's tournament featured international sides from New Zealand, South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Chile. Overall 230 teams with 3700 participants took part in this year's football extravaganza. The Cup caters for both male and female teams from Under 10 to Under 18 age groups. In just 5 days more than 600 games and other activities are hosted. It's quite an organizational event management feat where multiple venues are used and without the assistance of a large army of volunteers, it would be challenging to pull off successfully.
In the Under 15 boys final, the Cup was proudly lifted by Malvern City after an emphatic 7-0 victory over Canberra FC. In the lead up games, Canberra FC defeated Malvern City 2-1 in one of those games where the ball just didn't want to go in for Malvern City. Hitting top gear in the final and undeterred by Canberra's frosty weather, Malvern City ensured there was no repeat of their previous encounter. In fact, the semi-final was a much tougher affair for Malvern City where they defeated NCV United, a Victorian select regional side, 3-1. It was an emotional affair for Malvern City's academy coach Ange Dallas. Returning to the club he started playing as a youngster, he was overjoyed to see the Cup being lifted in his first year. It was also a sense of déjà-vu for Ange, who had previously coached the South Melbourne FC Under-11 junior team to victory in the same tournament in 2008. The youngsters were no doubt delighted with the results they achieved during the tournament and what better way to spend a week of their school term break.
The next few years will be quite critical for these young boys. Already training four days a week with games on the weekend, not to mention increasing school demands, their determination and self-discipline are constantly being put to the test. They are already punching above their weight by playing in an Under 18s seasonal competition and another tournament awaits them as they will be travelling to Fiji in December. We wish the boys, the coach and the parents continued success over the years.
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