Heroic Moments: New Hyundai A-League talent emerges on thrilling weekend

Wellington Phoenix starlet Callan Elliot was just 10-years-old when Paul Ifill began his Hyundai A-League career.

A decade later and the teenager is following in the footsteps of his former mentor, teammate and Phoenix legend.

Elliot was one of four players to make their Hyundai A-League debuts in Saturday's 8-2 defeat of Central Coast Mariners. 

The Scotland-born midfielder spent three years at Ifill's academy after first noticing his talent in 2015. They would go on to play together for both Tasman United and Wairarapa United.

Elliot was joined by Phoenix teammate and former Manly United youth Gianni Stensness for his maiden professional calling in Gosford.

And a memorable night for the Phoenix production line was highlighted by the sight of Sarpreet Singh and Liberato Cacace both on the score sheet as Mark Rudan's men issued a statement to the rest of the competition.

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It was also a night Central Coast Mariners academy products Charles M’Mombwa and Lewis Miller will not forget in a hurry - but for the wrong reasons.

The impressive pair were thrown in for their first taste of Hyundai A-League football amid the spectacular rout, while Joshua Nisbet was handed his starting debut for the club.

No other Hyundai A-League club has employed more youth players than the Mariners this season, and although the present feels bleak, fans of the Yellow and Navy must hope that the club are setting solid foundations for the future.

Bonevacia presses his claim

Is Roly Bonevacia in the form of his Hyundai A-League career?

The Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder has been the central figure of his side’s renaissance of late and scored his sixth goal in nine matches in Friday’s 4-1 triumph over Brisbane Roar.

Bonevacia was once again close to unplayable in the Suncorp Stadium rout, pulling the strings from midfield and knitting another convincing attacking performance together.

Off-contract at the end of the season, surely Wanderers fans would move heaven and earth to secure the Dutchman's services.

Riera answers the critics

Oriol Riera has received his fair slice of criticism this season.

But the Spanish striker issued a reminder of his quality to his detractors in Friday night's win over Brisbane.

He has now scored 23 goals in 44 matches during his tenure in Australia, and you'll be hard pressed to find one better than his stunning volley to open the scoring in the Wanderers account against the Roar.

Burgess pulls the strings

Max Burgess has been on the Hyundai A-League periphery since making his debut for Newcastle Jets over four years ago.

Indeed, Saturday's display was his first ever 90-minute performance in the competition in 22 appearances.


But on the basis of his display against the Mariners, the former Sydney Olympic playmaker appears ready to prove a point to coach Mark Rudan.

The 24-year-old offered a catalogue of classy touches in Phoenix's big win, the highlight being a remarkable sweeping ball in the lead up to Roy Krishna's second goal in first-half stoppage time.