Sydney FC Academy secured a 3-1 victory over Central Coast Mariners Academy in the NPL, with several young players impressing on the field as per usual. The match was marked by a number of exciting storylines, including the debut of two 16-year-old players, a developing group of 2005-born players and a team beginning to gel despite their young age.
The Sunday evening clash saw the debut of 16-year-old Mitch Glasson, who marked his first NPL appearance with a goal. Glasson’s impressive performance demonstrated his potential as a promising talent to watch for in the future.
Another 16-year-old player, Gus Hoefsloot, also had a standout performance in just his second NPL match. Hoefsloot was in goals in place of regular Academy keeper Adam Pavlesic who was called up to the Isuzu UTE A-League squad and he was awarded Man of the Match by those in attendance, pulling off a number of key stops to keep the Central Coast Mariners at bay in the second half.
The match also highlighted the strong development of a group of 2005-born players, including Max Buratto, Zane Schreiber, Will Kennedy, and Louis Agosti. Agosti, in particular, was rated as one of the stand-out performers of the evening, demonstrating his progress as a young talent.
In addition to these impressive performances, the team was buoyed by the recent scoring run of Alen Harbas, who has netted four goals in his last two matches. Harbas’ scored either side of half time and was very close to completing his hat-trick with a superb solo run late in the match.
Earlier in the day Blake Bolwell, made his debut in the U20s and dominated the midfield. At only 16 years of age, Bolwell’s performance demonstrates his potential as a future star in the making, and fans will no doubt be eagerly watching his progress in the seasons to come.
In some overseas news, it was great to see Adrian Segecic and Jake Girdwood-Reich involved with the Australian U20’s side who lost at the semi final stage of the AFC U20’s Asian Cup, on penalties, to hosts Uzbekistan. Segecic had a great tournament, finding the net on multiple occasions. While he was the unfortunate one to miss the decisive penalty, he can hold his head up high on being one of the stars of the future of Australian football.
It was also fantastic to see that former Academy product Pat Yazbek started in the first competitive fixture with Viking FK after their winter shut-down. He played 70 minutes on the right side of midfield and appears to be settling in well with the two other Australians over there, Gianni Stensness & Nick D’Agostino.
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