NAB Young Footballer of the Year nominee – Lachlan Wales (Melbourne City)
An emerging talent who combines pace and industry with decisiveness in the final third is worth his weight in gold. That’s why Lachlan Wales has won plaudits and new admirers in his breakout campaign with Melbourne City.
The Terrigal-born speedster is one of six nominees for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year award, so let’s wind back the clock and look at Wales’ 2018/19 highlights.
NAB Young Footballer of the Year: Sarpreet Singh (Wellington Phoenix)
NAB Young Footballer of the Year: Chris Ikonomidis (Perth Glory)
NAB Young Footballer of the Year: Thomas Deng (Melbourne Victory)
NAB Young Footballer of the Year: Keanu Baccus (Western Sydney Wanderers)
NAB Young Footballer of the Year: Riley McGree (Melbourne City)
Wales' campaign in Opta stats
Story of the Season
Despite the big names at his disposal, Warren Joyce made it clear early on that Wales would be a key part of his Bruno Fornaroli-less frontline.
Joyce has accommodated the former Central Coast Mariner on both flanks and centrally this season, in which he has been used in all but two fixtures, yielding a return of three goals and five assists.
A seemingly modest contribution, but one that is made more impressive by the fact City are the fourth-lowest scorers in the competition with 39.
WATCH FOR FREE: How to watch the Hyundai A-League LIVE and FREE
Wales displayed a clean set of heels and a ruthless finish with goals against Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers, while his glancing header against former employers Mariners in January was straight out of the textbook.
The 21-year-old saved his best performance of the campaign for the final day of the regular season, when City tore Mariners apart 5-0 and Wales gave makeshift fullback Tom Hiariej one of 2018/19’s more painful afternoons.
Why he is a good shout to be NAB Young Footballer of the Year
Although still a rookie forward, Wales has shown he’s capable of striking genuine fear into the hearts of his more senior opponents.
He shone in Kuala Lumpur for Graham Arnold’s Australia U-23 team in the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualification matches, and all signs from the domestic stage indicate Wales has what it takes to make a name for himself in senior football.
Featured NewsRead more
Clubs jump at chance to join $15m talent flow
One day, it might be dubbed the Sturridge Rule ? the policy change which could bring up to almost $15m of talent to the A-Leagues. Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is the highest-profile recruit so far from the introduction of the so-called "designated player" rule fr
Melbourne Victory signs Italian forward Francesco Margiotta
MELBOURNE Victory is pleased to announce the signing of Italian forward Francesco Margiotta ahead of the 2021/22 Isuzu UTE A-League season. The 28-year-old has signed a one-year deal which will see Margiotta join the club until the end of the 2021/22 season. Victory head co
Marco Tilio signs two-year City contract extension
MELBOURNE City rising star Marco Tilio has signed a two-year contract extension with the Isuzu UTE A-League Champions in a deal which will see the 20-year-old remain at the club until the end of the 2023/24 season. The young forward has extended a contract which already had on