In just a few weeks time the National Youth League competition will kick-off, and Sydney FC is ready to begin its inaugural campaign.
In just a few weeks time there-ll be an important new player on the Australian football landscape, with the FFA-s National Youth League competition set to kick off in the last weekend of September.
After months of trials and tribulations, Sydney FC youth coach, Steve O-Connor has now finalised his squad, and he-s excited about the opportunity the league will offer the next generation of Australian footballers.
“I think it is important because it gives pathways for all out talented young players so that they know the way for them to get to the A-League is by getting into a Youth League team,” said O-Connor.
With most of Sydney-s players coming from the ranks of the New South Wales Premier League, O-Connor has had to bide his time waiting to assemble his squad, and the side has only recently stepped up its preparations for the coming season.
Despite the slow start, squad-members, Matt Jurman and Robbie Mileski have already picked up first-team experience during the opening rounds of the Hyundai A-League season, and the Sydney mentor is keen to ensure all his young charges appreciate the chance they-re about to be given.
“I want them to be focused on that opportunity and be aware of it that they-re playing for positions,” explained O-Connor. “Hopefully they-ll put a bit of pressure on the senior players because in some respects they-ve had a bit of a charmed life over the last 3 years without very much pressure, so this changes the landscape a little bit.”
There are only 12 places in FC-s Youth Team, with the side to be bolstered week-to-week by un-selected players from the senior squad.
‘Football Superstar- winner, Adam Hett was one of Sydney-s first signings, but a season ending knee injury has seen the Perth player replaced in O-Connor-s final side.
“It-s unfortunate for Adam but we-ll keep track of his recovery with an eye to next season,” said the former AIS Coach. “His bad luck was somebody else-s good fortune though, I suppose, but it-s all done and dusted now and we-ll see how we go in the competition.”
This Saturday the entire Youth Team will be introduced to the Sydney faithful at the SFS, at half-time in FC-s Hyundai A-League clash with Adelaide United.
Sydney will enjoy a bye in the first round of the National Youth League and will begin its campaign on October 4 against Queensland.
Click here to view the full squad.