Australia’s under 19 national football team, the Young Socceroos, kicked goals with Indonesian students in training clinics as part of the Australia-Indonesia BRIDGE School Partnerships Program.
The Young Socceroos were in Jakarta competing at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) u-19 Championship 2018, and worked hard to gain some additional local fans.
The clinics built on cooperation between the Football Federation of Australia and the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI), including through a trilateral Indonesia-Australia-Germany project to support the development of coaches at the grassroots level.
While the Young Socceroos’ time at the championship did not result in a place at the finals, the memories and friendships made during the event will be long lasting.
Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Gary Quinlan said sport can help strengthen connections between the two nations.
“The shared values of sportsmanship, competition, teamwork and fair play that we see in sport help bring people, especially young people, together,” Mr Quinlan said.
A number of Australian footballers have also played at Indonesian clubs, including Bruce Djité at PSM Makassar and Cameron Watson at Madura United.
The Young Socceroos’ activities in Indonesia are supported by the Australia Indonesia Institute.