Cup ties Timor and NT
December 15th, 2009
Football Federation president Francisco Ley
TERRITORY soccer will export its biggest tournament overseas next year.
The tri-nation Timor Sea Cup launched in Darwin in 2008 is scheduled to kick off in East Timor in May.
High-ranking Timorese and NT soccer officials met in Dili last week to discuss plans for the fledgling nation to host the biggest under-age tournament since its independence 10 years ago.
East Timor won the inaugural title after a clean-sweep of the Northern Territory and West Timor (Nusa Tenggara Timur).
Football Federation NT chief executive Bill Kostandas was delighted to hand the event over to the defending champions, offering his full support in organising and managing the under-21 tournament.
"This event is not only good for developing football relations but important to fostering a closer relationship with our closest neighbours," Kostandas said.
"That passion they have for the game over there is fantastic, you see it in every street with boys and girls of all ages wearing their favourite soccer shirts, be it Barcelona, Chelsea or AC Milan.
"The sort of reception we got from their Football Federation president Francisco Ley and general secretary Amandio de Araujo Sarmento tells me that we can look forward to a pretty special occasion."
Football ties between the NT and East Timor are set to become even closer with visiting NTIS scholarships being made available next year.
As the first intake of soccer players join the institute in the New Year, two athletes and coaches from East Timor will enjoy a month-long stint in Darwin.
There are also plans for the FFNT head office to host an administrator for four weeks. Kostandas said the deal would be a win win for all involved.
"As far as skill and professionalism of their players go, East Timor can teach us plenty. We can give back to them through infrastructure, operational and strategic matters."
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John M. Miller, National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: +1-718-596-7668 Mobile phone: +1-917-690-4391
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