‘He’s the best of the lot’: Slater hails starlet Silvera after Mariners sink Glory
It seems every other weekend that we see another talented teenager make a sparkling introduction on the Hyundai A-League stage.
And in Round 4 it was 19-year-old Sam Silvera’s turn to shine, on the back of his match-winning display for Central Coast against Premiers Perth on Sunday afternoon.
Silvera was best afield in his side’s shock 2-1 victory at HBF Park, scoring the decisive goal after snatching the ball from Jacob Tratt deep in Glory’s defence, shimmying into the box and tucking a beautiful low curling shot into the bottom right corner of the net.
It was the exclamation point to a scintillating starting debut for Silvera, who was beaming from ear to ear after earning his side their first win of the season.
“I feel honestly amazing,” Silvera told FOX Sports post match.
“Credit to the boys we held on we did well and obviously that goal means the world to me and means the world to my family.
“I thought honestly (Tratt) was going to play it back to the keeper but he chopped back and had a bit of a loose touch so I thought maybe I can win it, and then once I won it I thought ‘straight to goal’, had the shot and scored.
“I’ve been working on that in training especially a lot this week, I think that’s what I’ve been focussing on. I need to score a lot of goals, that’s my aim.”
Silvera’s first start of the season comes four games into the 2019/20 campaign, but the Mariners starlet has had no qualms with having to wait to make his mark in the Hyundai A-League.
“Obviously I am young but I work everyday hard in training and honestly just to get out here and to have that experience and do well, it’s amazing,” Silvera said.
Silvera had 40 touches for the game playing predominately down the Mariners’ right sid, but only needed one shot for the game to make his impact, floating to the left wing to run down Tratt and put the ball in the net.
FOX Sports analyst Robbie Slater was full of praise for Silvera post-match when assessing the youngster’s starting debut.
We’ve seen the impressive rise of Adelaide United’s Al Hassan Toure, the continued upwards trajectory of Melbourne City’s young gun Connor Metcalfe – who also scored on Sunday - and plenty of other teenagers taking their chance to shine in the Hyundai A-League so far this season, but Slater says he sees the most promise in the Mariners’ attacker.
“I’ve been talking about Samuel Silvera since the FFA Cup that he should have started the very first game, he proved today he will be playing next week and I hope for many weeks to come,” Slater said.
“This kid for me, out of the whole lot of (young players) we’ve seen this season, is the best one out of the whole lot.
“Even though he’s raw and just coming in he looks so composed, so mature, even when they were under the pump there were times he took the ball and he still looked not in a hurry, he’s one of those players that looks like he’s got a bit of time on the ball.”
Silvera was the only teenager to start the match for either side.
Mariners boss Alen Stajcic fielded a starting 11 with an average age of just under 25, with the age range spanning from Silvera (19) to Milan Duric (32).
With a diverse spread of players of different ages and experience levels, Mariners attacker Tommy Oar believes the Mariners have forged a perfect balance which is already paying dividends.
“I think we’ve got a really good blend of players,” Oar said.
“We’ve got a lot of exciting young players and a lot of experienced players as well.
“It was great to get our first win of the season, I think first half we played some brilliant football and second half we showed a lot of character to keep them out.
“For us we’re going to take no backwards steps this season, we’re not scared of playing against anyone.”