Football Federation Australia Chief Executive David Gallop AM has paid tribute to the Young Socceroos, who beat Malaysia 1-0 overnight in the final of the 2019 AFF U-18 Championship in Vietnam.
Gallop said the whole squad and coaching staff should be delighted with their achievement.
“Many congratulations to the Young Socceroos and head coach Gary van Egmond on winning the AFF U-18 Championship for a record-equalling fifth time," said Gallop.
“The team performed brilliantly throughout, in often difficult conditions, and bounced back from a group stage defeat to a very strong Malaysia team to claim the title in a gripping final.”
“It’s great to celebrate any success in Australian football and I’m delighted that our junior national teams are progressing.
“I’m sure the Young Socceroos win will inspire the Joeys U-17 squad as they prepare to take on the world’s best at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil at the end of October."
Adelaide United striker Lachlan Brook got the vital goal in the final, rifling home the winner in the 79th minute at the Thống Nhất Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City.
Van Egmond, in his first tournament in charge of the Under-18’s, said he was extremely proud of the team’s performance.
“It was terrific. It was a difficult tournament for these boys, considering we’ve got seven games in 14 days, but overall they’ve performed admirably for their country, and I look forward to working with them in the next camp which is in September," he said.
He added: “I would like to thank the Vietnam Football Federation and ASEAN Football Federation for hosting us and for staging an excellent competition.”
The Young Socceroos now look forward to the AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers in November, where they will play Chinese Taipei, Macau and Laos, and van Egmond said the team’s experience in Vietnam will stand them in good stead.
“It’s fantastic preparation. The fact that we saw these boys in this type of environment, the staff being in a position where they’re working together to understand processes, to understand exactly the principles of play and for the players to get used to these types of conditions," the Young Socceroos boss said.
“It’s just invaluable for these players to get this opportunity at this tournament, so that we can prepare in the best possible way for the upcoming qualifiers.”
A full match report is available HERE.