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U15 NATIONAL ACADEMY BOYS TO COMPETE IN JAPAN

Guam to compete in the Copa Toreros 2024 Primavera Japan International Youth Tournament.

PRESS RELEASE – With the primary intent to provide high-level competition as part of elite player development for Guam’s U15 National Academy, its boys team will be headed to Japan later this month to compete in the Copa Toreros 2024 Primavera International Youth Football Tournament in Shizuoka.

“Participating in competitions like the Copa Toreros Primavera is fundamental to the Guam Football Association National Academy’s dedication to elite youth player development under the FIFA Talent Development Scheme,” said Ross Awa, GFA Technical Director and Head Coach of the traveling team to Japan. “These international experiences not only provide invaluable growth opportunities and exposure to top-tier competition for young talents, but also align with the Academy’s mission to foster and elevate the skills of aspiring footballers in accordance with global benchmarks and best practices in player development.

“By incorporating such tournaments into our development strategy, the Academy will further elevate the quality of our youth initiatives and bolster the prospects of promising footballers in Guam for sustained success in the sport. As the team partakes in the Copa Toreros Primavera tournament in the U15 division, it marks an exciting milestone for the players as they are set to gain valuable international experience and exposure,” Awa added.

Goalkeeper Renzel Reburiano directs teammates on a corner kick play during a recent Guam Football Association National Academy U15 Boys training session at the GFA National Training Center in this file photo. Traveling Head Coach Ross Awa called up 16 players to compete in the upcoming Copa Toreros 2024 Primavera international youth tournament in Japan later this month.

Awa selected 16 players to represent Guam in the tournament set to kick off Mar. 25. The team includes two goalkeepers and 14 field players. The goalkeepers are Renzel Reburiano and Micah Tavarez and the field players are Levi Barnhart, Nikko Byerly, Orian Cazares, Landen Cruz, Gage Cruz, Zico Denight, Julian Escalante, Mason Manibusan, Gavin Manibusan, Chima Mbakwem, Jr., Haruki Okamoto, Cole Sablan, Trystan Santos, and Ryotaro Suzuki.

Teams confirmed to compete in the tournament include youth club teams from Germany, Korea, and Japan, among other countries.

“The opportunity to compete against esteemed teams like JEF United Chiba, Shimizu S-Pulse, and Germany’s VFL Bochum presents a unique chance for the players to showcase their talent and skills on a global stage,” Awa said. “Such high-level competitions can play a pivotal role in shaping the future of these athletes, helping them develop both their technical abilities and mental resilience while preparing them for the rigors of competitive football at advanced levels.

“This experience will undoubtedly be instrumental in the players’ growth and progress in their sporting careers, laying a strong foundation for their future endeavors in the realm of elite youth player development,” Awa added.

In addition to Awa, Jeroen Bos, Taiga Simon, and physiotherapist Walfred Javier will be traveling to Japan as part of the Guam team staff.

More information on the tournament is online: https://www.funroots.net/copatoreros/2024s/

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