With six weeks to go until season 2012/13, we're looking at the best breakthrough talent.
Criticised last year for relying too much upon aging stars like Carlos Hernandez, Harry Kewell and Archie Thompson, that won’t be the case this year when Ange Postecoglou’s new-look Melbourne Victory take the field.
Alongside some more established talent, Postecoglou seems likely to take a punt on some young players making the step up to A-League level this year, and has some huge potential to go alongside established young gun James Jeggo.
Sam Gallagher: With just five minutes of A-League football behind him, Gallagher has plenty of work to do but should anything happen to Adama Traore he can cover left-back; rangy and good positionally he could be a good asset at the back for the Victory.
Ange says: “Sam is a guy who I think we can mould into a really good young player. He has a great opportunity to learn from guys like Adrian Leijer and Mark Milligan so he’s surrounded by quality guys with plenty of experience.”
Julius Davies: So highly touted, the 18-year-old spent his junior career in Germany and has come home with big wraps. A raw talent he can make things happen in the midfield for the Victory and it won’t surprise to see him employed to wreak havoc off the bench.
Ange says: “Julius is an exciting prospect, but is still a very young and raw talent. He’s a confident kid and looks to have some great attributes.”
Theo Markelis: Returning home from Valencia, Markelis got the opportunity to learn from some of the best strikers in the world in his time there and it showed, coming back to the A-League to start his senior career; a partnership with Archie Thompson could be quite entertaining.
Ange says: “Theo is a player who I believe we can really develop over the next two years.”
“To have been signed by a club such as Valencia when he was just 15 years old is a fair indication of his potential.
“His record in the youth ranks over there (Europe) was exceptional and he averaged 15 goals a season during his 3 years at Valencia.”