Perth Glory coach Alistair Edwards has confirmed Daniel De Silva will become the youngest player to represent the club in Saturday's clash with Sydney FC.
Perth Glory coach Alistair Edwards has confirmed that Daniel De Silva will become the youngest player to represent the club in Saturday's must-win clash with Sydney FC at nib Stadium.
The attacking midfielder is still four days short of his 16th birthday and only signed professional terms with the West Australian club last week.
But having coached him extensively at Australia Under-17 level, Edwards is confident that the Perth local is ready to taste Hyundai A-League action.
"I've been coaching Danny for the last couple of years with the Joeys," he said. "And he's an exciting talent coming through.
"He knows that he's in an environment now with good experienced players and it's a wonderful opportunity not only for him, but also for the club and it just sends a clear message to people within the state that if you are good enough and talented enough, you are going to be given an opportunity.
"Danny will be involved in the game, he'll start on the bench tomorrow and I wouldn't have put him in if I didn't think he could handle the occasion.
"He comes from a wonderful family and as I said, I've known him for two years and the philosophy that we're employing now as a football club, he's already been involved with for those two years with the Joeys.
"As far as I'm concerned, if you're good enough, you're old enough and if Danny continues to work hard and continues to listen to and learn from the great players that we've got at this club, he can go a long way in the game."
De Silva, meanwhile, was unfazed at having to face a sizeable media pack following the Glory's Friday training session and is naturally thrilled at the prospect of both making his senior debut and coming up against two of the A-League's biggest names.
"I feel really good," he said. "I'm buzzing for the game tomorrow.
"I'll definitely give it my best shot, that's all I can do and hopefully I can help the team out.
"They (Sydney FC) have quality players and it's going to be amazing to play against a World Cup winner in (Alessandro) Del Piero and the captain of the Socceroos, Lucas Neill.
"Sometimes when I think about it, I can't quite believe it all.
"Glory have given me an amazing opportunity and I definitely think it's going to help me in my football career."
The highly-rated youngster was presented with his Glory shirt by former club favourite Bobby Despotovski, a new ceremony which Edwards devised as part of a concerted bid to reconnect the club with their heritage.
"I don't just think, I know that the tradition of the club has been lost over the years," he said.
"And that's something that Bobby, Jason Petkovic, Scott Miller, Paul Strudwick and these kind of guys talk about.
"The simple fact is that there are some fantastic people who have played for Glory and while (assistant coach) Gareth Naven and myself are here, they are going to be fully embraced by the club."
Edwards added that Michael Thwaite has confirmed that he will be staying at nib Stadium after rejecting several lucrative offers from Asian clubs and that skipper Jacob Burns should return to action next weekend having been sidelined for over a month by a back problem.
Midfield duo Travis Dodd (calf) and Nick Ward (quad), meanwhile, are regarded as major doubts for Saturday's meeting with the Sky Blues.