Young Sydney FC stars Aaron Gurd and Jaiden Kucharski have been rewarded for their impressive NPL NSW Men’s form this year with Isuzu Ute A-League scholarship contracts for season 2022-23 and seasons 2022-24 respectively.
Striker Kucharski has started the NPL campaign on fire with 11 goals in the first ten games to shoot the Sky Blues into contention at the top of the ladder.
The 19-year old from Glenwood is extremely highly rated having joined the Sydney FC Academy in its first year aged 13, after spells at Blacktown City, FNSW Institute and his junior club Glenwood Redbacks.
He has moved up the ranks to the Academy first grade and now enters the A-League squad.
“It’s a really proud moment for me and my family to join the Isuzu Ute A-League squad,” said Kucharski.
“I’ve had a fantastic football up-bringing here at Sydney FC and I’m looking forward to continuing to progress.
“It’s going to be a big step up for me but I’m keen to learn as much as I can from the next 12 months and hopefully earn some minutes for the A-League team.”
20-year old central defender Gurd is another Academy graduate who has benefitted from coming through the Sky Blues youth system.
He was spotted playing at Manly United as a 15-year old and made the move to Sydney FC becoming an integral part of the Sky Blues Academy set-up.
“It’s been a great year so far and I can’t wait to get started with the A-League squad in pre-season,” said the defender.
“I feel extremely honoured and excited to be given this chance.
“Sydney FC are my boyhood club and even training with the A-League squad in recent months has excited me.
“To become full a member of the squad next year is a dream come true and one I want to make the most of.”
Head Coach Steve Corica believes both players deserve their chance to prove they can step up to A-League level.
“They’ve shown some real potential when they’ve trained with the A-League squad this season and have done very well.
“Both boys have ability and it’s a big step up to the professional, full time ranks, however I think they can adapt to that.”
Sydney FC’s Technical Director – Youth, Kelly Cross is happy to see two more Academy graduates move on.
“It is a massive pleasure to see these two top young talents rewarded for their progress and their loyalty.
“They have been with us since October 2015, when we established our Academy, and have grown from boys into fine young men during their time here.
“I first identified Jaiden when he was 11 and have been mentoring him ever since; he has a tremendous drive and an inner confidence that will serve him well as he moves up to the seniors.
“He has the potential to become a goalscoring threat at the highest level,” continued Cross.
“Seeing Aaron progress also gives me a great sense of satisfaction.
“Watching him play with Manly United in 2015, I saw an elegance and poise about his game even at a young age, which he backs up with clever and solid defending.
“He has shone every week in our youth team which plays in NSW NPL 1. He’s a top prospect.”
Both players will continue to play with the NSW NPL 1 team for the remainder of the 2022 season and will join the Sky Blues A-League squad for pre-season training in early July.