Monaro Panthers use unique Korean partnership to prosper

Monaro's Skazlic family kids, left to right, Sam, Daniel, Jake, and Lilly, with SinGok Korean players, left to right, Tae Young Shin and Chang Seon Oh. Photo: Joshua Matic.

Monaro's Skazlic family kids, left to right, Sam, Daniel, Jake, and Lilly, with SinGok Korean players, left to right, Tae Young Shin and Chang Seon Oh. Photo: Joshua Matic.

IT is the professional link and the only of its kind in Australia that the Monaro Panthers Football Club hopes one day will help them grow and prosper, and allow players to do international exchanges.

Meet the Korean SinGok under 12s football team, who have now been apart of a very special arrangement with the Monaro Panthers for around a decade now and have just completed their seventh straight Kanga Cup.

The Kanga Cup is the largest youth football tournament in the southern hemisphere, and in its 23rd year, saw a record 4000 young soccer players compete for 275 teams in Canberra.

SinGok players Tae Young Shin and Chang Seon Oh, both billeting in Queanbeyan said they loved playing in Canberra and staying in Queanbeyan.

"Yes, it is very, very good," they said in broken English.

It was state member for Monaro John Barilaro, along with Panthers board members Amelia Efkarpidis and Nadia Colbertaldo that began ties with SinGok, after they first entered the Kanga Cup self-funded and organised.

With SinGok being a full time soccer primary school, where students train three times a day and progress through core curricula, the three approached staff at the school and formed their partnership, which has also seen Monaro under 12s players travel to South Korea as well.

Mr Barilaro said the arrangement was eye-opening for both organisations.

"It benefits our kids because they can learn from the professionalism that SinGok has, but for them, it is a chance to visit Australia and experience our wonderful culture."

Meanwhile, plans to exchange Monaro Premier League players to South Korea and have Korean players play at Monaro through SinGok's high school connections could happen as early as next year.

Panthers secretary Mauro Davanzo said the aim was to use the Korean professionalism to improve the quality at Monaro.

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