Adelaide United FC’s Youth Team is fit and ready to hit the Foxtel National Youth League 2013/14 Season with a full head of steam.
After a lengthy and thorough trial process, the Reds’ youth squad has been finalised, Coach Michael Valkanis combining a mix of new young talent, the youngest of who is 16 year old goalkeeper Daniel Margush, and more seasoned Youth League campaigners, with Nikola Mileusnic the oldest at 20 years of age.
Overall, Valkanis is extremely pleased with his 2013/14 crop and is optimistic about their potential, particularly as they learn and start to execute the much talked about ‘new style’ that Reds Head Coach Josep Gombau has introduced at the club.
One of the primary objectives of the Foxtel National Youth League is to nurture and develop the best local players and give them every opportunity to make the transition to the Hyundai A-League.
“There have been quite a few changes to the squad from last season with a lot of new players being added to go with some guys who have been part of the setup for two or three years and have got a final year to try and make the next step,” Valkanis said.
“We’ve got some good new faces who are doing well already. We’ve been training for the last two months now and trying to implement the style and the philosophy that is being implemented throughout the whole club.”
“These boys are doing well in picking up what we’re asking them to do on the pitch in regards to the style and the movements, and there are a number that have already made steps forward to training with the senior team.
As the young Reds prepare for their season opener against one of last season’s Youth League standouts, the Central Coast Mariners, in Gosford on Sunday, Valkanis is setting high standards and expectations for his charges. He singled out a number of players, starting with captain Shaun Harvey, who he have impressed for their local teams and in pre season.
“Shaun Harvey will captain the team as chosen by his peers. This will be his third year in the Youth League and I’m sure he will be looking to have a big season after he had a great campaign in the local competition, winning the local Super League together with vice captain Dion Kirk.”
“Ryan Kitto has started training with the senior team and has done extremely well.
“Another is Nikola Mileusnic, who has been with us for a year now, and this is a very important year for him being one of the older players in the squad who I think could make the next step.”
“Adam Piscioneri, from Campbelltown, is another one to look out for. He was blooded in one of the senior team’s pre season games together with Anthony Ture, and they’re both technically very good.”
The squad also comprises the club’s first recruit from the Northern Territory, with African refugee Geoffrey Lino, who was living in Darwin, one of five defenders selected.
“I think it’s a really good bunch of boys. We went through a long trial process and we took our time in selecting boys that firstly could implement the style – that they’re technically good enough to do that, and secondly it was about their attitude – getting players who are hungry to make the next step and work really hard.”
“A lot has been talked about of the style, but a lot of emphasis at the club has been put on effort and working for one another, so we picked boys that have that attitude and want to really make the next step, not just be content to be part of the Youth Team.”
“It’s an exciting year. Josep is a big believer in developing the youth and has been a big part of it in regards to us implementing the style throughout the whole club.”
The Foxtel National Youth League 2013/14 Season will consist of 18 rounds, starting this weekend and finishing on the first weekend of March 2014.
Round 1 Match Details
Central Coast Mariners Youth v Adelaide United Youth
Sunday 27 October 2013
Centre of Excellence, Tuggerah
Kick-Off: 10:30am AEDT
Adelaide United FC 2013/14 Foxtel National Youth League Squad
Lachlan Barr (Defender) 24/09/94
Jack Bladen (Midfielder) 9/04/95
Matthew Bouzalas (Defender) 10/01/94
Anthony Costa (Forward) 1/05/94
John Hall (GK)
Shaun Harvey (c) (Defender) 8/02/94
Bruce Kamau (Forward) 28/03/95
Ryan Kitto (Midfielder) 9/08/94
Dion Kirk (Defender) 5/08/94
Nathan Konstandopoulos (Midfielder) 26/06/96
Geoffrey Lino (Defender) 11/04/94
Daniel Margush (GK) 28/11/97
Nikola Mileusnic (Forward) 17/07/93
Jordan O’Doherty (Forward) 14/10/97
Adam Piscioneri (Midfielder) 14/02/96
Anthony Ture (Forward) 11/05/95