Sydney FC has welcomed back its quintet of Qantas Young Socceroos – this weekend they’ll swap green and gold for Sky Blue in a crucial clash with Melbourne!
This week Sydney FC welcomed back its quintet of Qantas Young Socceroos following Australia-s early exit from the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. Senior squad members, Matt Jurman, Kofi Danning and Rhyan Grant, and Youth team players Sam Gallagher and Sam Munro all got valuable game time at the tournament and feel they are much better footballers for the experience.
“Every boy wants to experience a World Cup so it-s a huge experience for me to learn from,” said Munro. “I have to take the opportunity I had to be over there and go forward on with it now.”
Far from overawed at playing against some of the best young footballers in the world, Sydney FC-s National Youth League captain saw the World Cup as an opportunity to test himself.
“It-s not daunting at all. You’ve got to expect that being at a World Cup,” he explained. “You get to see what you need to improve on to be as good as the boys you-re playing who are being signed by the big clubs. It-s a really good opportunity to learn exactly what they do on and off the ball.”
Having measured themselves against their generation-s best, including a Brazilian team stacked with players touted as future senior World Cup winners, youth mentor, Steve O-Connor, expects Sydney-s young stars to make an impact in their return to Sky Blue.
“I think they will be jumping out of their skin to get back into it after having that experience,” said O-Connor. “It was a tough tournament for the boys so they will want to get back here and make up for that, I-m sure.”
Sydney FC made a strong start to its National Youth League title defence over the opening rounds, climbing quickly to the top of the table. But the side suffered its first defeat last Saturday, going down 3-1 to the Central Coast Mariners.
“If everyone does their jobs well and works hard on the field, you hope you get a result but that-s not always the case,” reflected O-Connor. “You are always progressing and going forward which is what you want to do with young players.”
This Saturday afternoon the junior Sky Blues will look to take another step forward when they return to the field for a round-5 clash on the road against the Melbourne Victory.
“We are focused now on the league and maintaining our position at the top,” said Munro. “We don-t want to lose back to back games and we need another three points to stay in first place so we-ll be looking for a improved effort this week.”
Sydney FC-s National Youth League team will face off against the as-yet winless Victory at 2pm on Saturday afternoon at Melbourne-s Veneto Club.