Football spotlight on Coffs

AFTER successfully hosting the girls' national championships, the football spotlight is again set to be on Coffs Harbour this week as it hosts the Qantas National Youth Championships.

The championships kicked-off on Saturday morning and the Coffs Coast International Stadium is once again loaded with the best young football talent in the country as more than 380 players in 24 teams contest for the under 14 and under 15 years titles.

The young guns who have stars in their eyes and dreams of being the next Harry Kewell, Marco Bresciano or even the Aussie player of the moment, Lucas Neill, will not only be vying for team glory but individual rewards as well.

This tournament is traditionally used as a selection trial for Australia's future Socceroos.

On top of national selectors attending, there also are scouts from overseas pouring over the nation's best as they try to secure a new talent for their teams.

Coffs also hosted the Qantas Girls' National Youth Championships earlier in the year and NNSWF operations manager Alan Nisbet said that this was yet another coup for NNSWF and for football development on the North Coast.

"Both the girls and boys championships have traditionally been held in Sydney, however, with the support of the Coffs Harbour council, we were successfull in a submission to the FFA to host the Championships," he said.

"And we have been given this opportunity for the next three years, up to and including 2008."

Today is a rest day but the action then continues for the rest of the week before the finals for both age divisions on Saturday.

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