Adelaide’s faith in youngsters beginning to pay dividends
There was plenty to like about Adelaide United’s impressive win over Perth Glory on Thursday night but it’s the impact of the club’s young players that perhaps is most pleasing for interim boss Carl Veart.
The Reds have invested heavily in their youth and academy in recent years and it’s beginning to pay big dividends in the Hyundai A-League.
Lachlan Brook (19) and Pacifique Niyongabire (20) both got on the scoresheet in the 5-3 thrashing of Glory, while midfielder Taras Gomulka (18) was heavily involved in two first-half goals.
The trio have all been given their shot under Veart, after the likes of brothers Al Hassan (20) and Mohamed Toure (16) and Louis D’Arrigo (18) featured earlier in the campaign under Gertjan Verbeek.
With Brook and Niyongabire netting goals at Bankwest Stadium, it means 44 goals this season have now been scored by players 21 or under.
Impressively, 15 of those (34%) have been scored by Adelaide United players. It underlines the faith in youth that the Reds are showing in 2019/20.
Speaking with Fox Sports about the talented trio that featured heavily against Glory, Veart said: “I believe [Brook is] one of the best young players in the country, he just needs opportunity.
“Since we’ve come back from the break [Niyongabire’s] training has been tremendous and tonight was a great opportunity for him to get some game time and for him to come on and score, I’m very happy because he has worked extremely hard.
“And Taras [Gomulka] just keeps going along. He’s very unassuming and he’s been tremendous as well.
“For a young boy to just come in, that’s been three games now, he’s been fantastic in the middle of the park.”
Adelaide’s youngsters were a part of a sensational team display against Glory which has bolstered the club’s finals hopes.
The Reds – currently in sixth place - have opened up a four-point lead to Western United FC in seventh, but having played three games more.
They face a tough end to their campaign, with Premiers Sydney FC and third-place Melbourne City to play in their final two games.
But on current form – which is two wins and a draw since the competition’s resumption – confidence is high in the Adelaide squad.
“I believe we can win every game,” said striker Kristian Opseth, whose goal against Glory was his third in as many games.
“We just have to keep going and work like were doing. We’re doing something right. I feel like we’ve been taking steps every week. We just have to continue.
“The first half [was very impressive],” Opseth added.
“I felt like we were running over them. It’s a big step in the right direction. The second half I felt we could have done better but scoring five goals…all in all it’s a good night for us.”
The Reds are next in action on Thursday, August 6, when they face the Sky Blues at ANZ Stadium. Kick-off is 7.30pm AEST.