With club captain Tony Popovic announcing his shock retirement from football last week, Sydney FC’s youth league defenders chose the best time to keep their first clean sheet of the season as they auditioned for permanent roles in the senior side.
With club captain Tony Popovic announcing his shock retirement from football last week, Sydney FC-s youth league defenders chose the best time to keep their first clean sheet of the season as they auditioned for permanent roles in the senior side.
Antony Golec has already filled in admirably for John Kosmina-s first team, and the 18-year-old was back with his youth-team mates at Sutherland last Saturday where he played on the left in Sydney-s impressive backline, before chiming in with an eye-catching strike late in the match.
The youngster said he had no problem adjusting to the less glamorous surrounds of the youth league, but had to get his head around his more attacking role in the side.
“It-s good to be back with the youth guys, it-s just the first team has a bit more experience. But its fine coming back, the boys are playing good football,” he said.
“With the first team my role is more defensive, with the youth more attacking, so I-ve got to know when to run at them, when to stay. But I scored six goals at [Sydney] United last year, so if I get the chance to attack, I-ll take it.”
The rookie defender was rocked to hear of Popovic-s retirement, but hopes the lessons he can learn from the former Socceroo will help propel him into his idol-s shoes on the field.
“I called him and he spoke to me and told me,” Golec explained. “It was a bit upsetting because he-s my mentor; I looked up to him when I was younger.”
“They-ve signed me and a few others boys for the back positions next year so I-ve got to get myself ready. He-s going to help me out and hopefully brush off some experience to me and I-ll be able to use it in the games.”
Golec will no doubt be one of the players under consideration to step into the centre back role this weekend when Sydney FC travels to take on Adelaide United.
The crucial round 12 Hyundai A-League clash will be played at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday evening.