Academy Training Program key to A-League stardom

Sydney FC’s pathway to the Sky Blues Academy and ultimately the Isuzu UTE A-League first team is one which begins for most players at a very young age.

Current stars like recent debutant Aaron Gurd, Young Socceroo Adrian Segecic, NPL NSW Player Of The Year Jaiden Kucharski and new Isuzu UTE A-League recruits Jake Girdwood-Reich and Corey Hollman, not to mention Patrick’s Yazbek and Wood, have all been long term players within the Sydney FC Academy.

All were brought into the Academy in the 13 to 15 age group several years ago and developed through the system, but the pathway to get into the Academy has changed dramatically since.

Over 70% of the Sydney FC Academy U13 intake (the youngest age group) now come through the Sky Blues Academy Training Programs (ATP) in Kareela and Macquarie Park.

“Of those kids around 50% will make it through to play for our Academy first grade team,” said Junior Academy Manager Nick Susko.

Apply to join the Sky Blues Academy Training Program

“That’s not a hard and fast figure but we always err on the side of retaining the talent we have within the Academy.

“It just means once you get in, you’re a chance of going all the way and as we’ve seen from the current first team squad, quite a few have graduated into professional careers.

“That’s not only with Sydney FC but elsewhere, and we’ve always maintained a good rate of selection in national team squads.”

The 2022/23 program is open for applications from talented 10, 11 and 12-year-old boys, plus 12, 13, 14-year-old girls, who are currently part of SAP, GSAP or Development squads at their local association or NPL club.

The year-long program is run as a development program across 40 weeks, with opportunities for selected talented players to train under the Sydney FC Youth philosophy.

A total of 40 Academy players have come through ATP since 2019 while last season 103 females participated in ATP – the only female pathway program the club currently offers and will be the nursery for our inaugural female academy squads next year.

The ATP program at Kareela also provided a much needed local base for over 100 kids last year to develop their skills and progress.

Despite the program starting this week, Sydney FC will continue to take expressions of interest from talented players throughout the 40 weeks.

Australian Turf Analysis will once again providing a full scholarship for a second year in a row for a budding female talent.

Apply to join the Sky Blues Academy Training Program