Can NPL strikers light up the Hyundai A-League in 2018/19?

Could this be the season where young former National Premier Leagues forwards take the Hyundai A-League by storm?

That's what Brisbane Roar striker Dylan Wenzel-Halls is aiming to do after signing his first professional contract with John Aloisi's side earlier in pre-season.

It follows a remarkable NPL QLD campaign playing for Western Pride, and comes weeks after Central Coast Mariners snared the services of NPL NSW golden boy Jordan Murray.

In Murray and Denzel-Halls, the upcoming Hyundai A-League campaign will feature two of the best young striking talents to grace the NPL in recent seasons.

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“I can’t wait for the season to start, I want to be pushing to be involved in the squad each week,” Wenzel-Halls told Brisbane Roar's official website.

“I have little targets and goals that I want to achieve, like making my debut, scoring my first Hyundai A-League goal, and I want to impact as many games as I can. 

“The goal is to eventually be involved in the starting lineup, but just to make my debut would be a dream come true.”

The 20-year-old striker, known for his speed and ability to consistently find the back of the net, has been heavily involved in the Roar’s pre-season games thus far.

Wenzel-Halls


He got his first taste against Hyundai A-League opposition in recent fixtures against Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC and says he’s adapting well to the step up.

“It’s good to get some game time, especially against the Hyundai A-League sides. It’s a good test to see where I stand after making the step up from the NPL," Wenzel-Halls added.

“I’m settling in well, all the boys are nice and it’s great to be back in a full-time environment.

"Transitioning from the NPL, I had half a season under my belt so I didn’t start from scratch, I had a base level of fitness and that’s getting better every week.”

The young attacker was previously involved in Roar's youth set-up back in 2016, and is now making the most of the opportunity to learn from a raft of experienced players at the Roar.

“At the moment it’s all about working hard and trying to learn from some of the more experienced players like Adam Taggart and Eric Bautheac on the field,” Wenzel-Halls continued.

“Off the field, you also look at how players like Matt [McKay] and TK [Thomas Kristensen] conduct themselves.

Wenzel-Halls, Taggart, Mauk


“The coaching staff all give good feedback so it’s nice to know what you’re doing right and where you need to improve. That makes setting little goals each week easier.”

Before signing on in Brisbane orange, Wenzel-Halls had been in remarkable form for NPL QLD outfit Western Pride.

He was the Pride’s talisman last campaign, netting 17 times in 18 matches - most memorably scoring the crucial goal in the 2017 Grand Final.

In just 11 outings for the Pride this season, he broke the Club’s goal-scoring record, hitting the back of the net 23 times, including an eye-watering bag of seven against Sunshine Coast FC.

With the Pride locking up a finals berth in the 2018, Wenzel-Halls says he’s still keeping a keen eye on his old side.

“They have done well, they’ve still remained in the top four. There’s a big final against Olympic coming up and I think they’re good enough to get the job done,” he concluded.

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