Academy wrap up NPL season with 6th place finish

The Sydney FC Academy have had an impressive NPL season which has seen them provide plenty of minutes to younger players and secure their top half finish, affirming their place as the best Academy in the country.

Throughout the 30 game season, they provided a pathway for multiple talented players and saw the likes of Mitch Glasson, Matty Scarcella, Gus Hoefsloot and Zac De Jesus all earn themselves an A-League contract. Alen Harbas who finished as the team’s top scorer ended up securing a move to Finish side FC KTP on loan.

Matty Scarcella during the Academy season

Over the 30 game season, they scored 49 goals and won 14 matches, making Valentine Sports Park a very tough place to go to for visiting sides as Jimmy van Weeren’s team more than held their own against tough opposition.

Across the season, they gave full NPL debuts to no less than 21 boys under the age of 18. Throughout the debuts, they more than held their own against players much older and more experienced.

It was also a great boost for the Academy in that a number of players received calls up to junior National Sides. The U17 AFC Asian Cup provided plenty of opportunities for Richard Nkomo, Mitch Glasson, Zac De Jesus and Tiago Quintal. Earlier in the season, Gus Hoesfloot and Jacob McLaughlin were also included in the qualifying matches and training camps.

A number of boys in the U18 were called up to First Team
Some matches were played in testing conditions

Throughout the season, there were high points and also some tough defeats, but overall, First Team Head Coach Jimmy van Weeren was super proud with what his squad had achieved.

“It was a challenging year this season, especially with the number of players that we lost midway through the season to A-League, overseas and domestic transfers.

Jimmy van Weeren led the boys to a sixth place finish

“I think it is a huge achievement to finish inside the top six based on the number of players we had available,” van Weeren said.

“I think this helps re-affirm that we have the best youth product pathway in the country which is only aided with having Alex Baumjohann on board who helps with player pathways into the first team and abroad.”

Before signing off for the 2023 season, the Head Coach wanted to give credit to a few others.

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“The pleasing thing for me was seeing the amount of boys who have earnt contracts with the A-League side and also overseas.

“We had 3 U16 players make their debuts in NPL along with 10 U17’s and 8 U18’s,” he added.

“Finally I would like to give a massive shout-out to all the coaches and support staff who help accelerate the physical and technical ability of our players. Without our team of coaches and support staff, we couldn’t compete in the 2nd best competition in the country behind the A-League,” he concluded.

Joe Lacey celebrates his goal on the final day of NPL

Congratulations to all involved in the Senior Academy on a fantastic season in the NPL NSW.

Images: Adam Cavenor – @adamcavenor