Brisbane Roar Youth will compete against teams from legendary South American and European clubs in the revival of one of India’s most prestigious international football tournaments.
The Young Roar have been invited to play against Under-23 sides from Boca Juniors and Club Atletico River Plate (Argentina), Corinthians (Brazil), Club Sport Maritimo (Portgual), FC Steaua Bucharest (Romania), SK Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia) and one yet-to-be-named Indian club.
The 15-day event, between 2-17 May, is the 36th edition of the Sait Nagjee Amarsee Memorial International Club Football Tournament.
The tournament, which in the past has attracted huge crowds and extensive media coverage in India, dates to 1952 but has not been played since 1995.
It is being hosted by Kozhikode District Football Association in the state of Kerala in south-west India. Organisers say they have budgeted 4 crore rupees (more than AUD $800,000) to successfully revive the popular tournament.
The invitation to the tournament comes just three weeks after the Roar Youth fell just one goal short of claiming a maiden Foxtel National Youth League Premiership in the recently completed 2014/15 season.
The Young Roar squad, which this season has already provided young stars including Brandon Borrello to the club’s Hyundai A-League team, easily qualifies for the tournament’s under-23 age criteria as many of the Brisbane Roar Youth players are still teenagers.
“Representing the club at this tournament in India will be the experience of a lifetime for our Young Roar squad,” Brisbane Roar Football Director Ken Stead said.
“When the club was approached with an offer to play in the tournament, we worked hard to ensure the players would get this opportunity.
“International experience is invaluable to the development of a young footballer, both on and off the field, and the club is looking forward to seeing the Young Roar represent the club and Australian football with pride.”
Under the tournament format, the Young Roar will get a minimum of three games. If they finish in the top two of their four-team group they will advance to the semi-finals.
Brisbane Roar FC has approached Football Queensland to have Young Roar’s three PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland games scheduled for the same time as the Indian tournament postponed to later in the season.