Leckie's stocks continue to rise

Adelaide United teenager Mathew Leckie's meteoric rise continues to gain momentum with the 19-year-old becoming the latest player nominated for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year award.

Adelaide United teenager Mathew Leckie's meteoric rise continues to gain momentum with the 19-year-old becoming the latest player nominated for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year award.

Leckie, who has played 19 games and scored two goals for the Reds in 2009-10, has come a long way since being plucked from the Victorian State League back in September.

"There were never any expectations when I came to the club, I thought when I was coming here that I would be training with the first team and playing youth football," Leckie recalled.

"But I came on against Melbourne (in Round 7), that was my debut, and obviously Viddie (coach Aurelio Vidmar) may have seen something he liked and we've just moved on from there."

"I didn't think the opportunity would come across but I know that I'm confident in myself and what I can do and I believe in my ability."

Initially an impact player coming off the bench, Leckie has become a critical member of United's starting 11. In the last couple of weeks he's been the go-to man up forward as the squad's more experienced strikers have looked on from the bench.

Vidmar says he's 'impressed' by Leckie's progress and feels the 'sky is the limit' if he continues to work hard on his game.

"He's got his head screwed on properly and I think that's really important, keeps his feet on the ground, he doesn't get carried away with too much, he's aware of the areas he needs to improve on and improve in," Vidmar said.

"Once he lives a little bit more through experience and can suck up some of those experiences and learn from them then he's just going to be a terrific player."

"We think he's got enormous potential. If he can refine his game in certain areas then the sky is the limit for him."

Leckie's next challenge is performing in the Asian Champions League and Vidmar said it was unlikely the speedy teenager would be overawed by the occasion.

"You want to compete against the very best and the very best in competitions and for us it's the Asian Champions League," he said.

"He doesn't care who he plays against, he could play against the best player in the world tomorrow and he'll try and run him ragged, that's what he's like."

Leckie, who was judged on his performances over Rounds 22 to 26, is the sixth and final nominated player for the award. The other nominees are Sydney FC's Kofi Danning, Melbourne Victory's Leigh Broxham, Brisbane Roar's Tommy Oar, North Queensland Fury's Rostyn Griffiths and Newcastle Jets' Ben Kantarovski.

The overall winner will receive a $10,000 personal investment portfolio, a NAB Private Client Manager to assist with a range of banking and financial services, and the inaugural NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award.

To acknowledge the role junior football clubs play in the development of today's young stars, NAB will also present a $3000 equipment pack to Leckie's nominated junior club, Bulleen Lions Junior Football Club.