Western Sydney Wanderers have added another fresh face to their injury-hit roster after promoting Young Socceroo Noah Pagden to the first team ranks.
Markus Babbel bolstered his squad earlier this week by acquiring German attacker Nicolai Muller on an injury-replacement contract to cover for Radoslaw Majewski, who has been ruled out for an indefinite period.
With Tarek Elrich joining Bruce Kamau and Patrick Ziegler on the sidelines, Wanderers have moved to promote 18-year-old Pagden to a two-year scholarship contract.
Babbel turned to a trio of teenagers on the Wanderers bench in last week’s 2-1 win against Central Coast Mariners — Daniel Wilmering, Kosta Grozos and Mohamed Adam — while the German tactician also started 21-year-old debutant Nick Sullivan.
Pagden came through the ranks with Wilmering and Grozos and the Young Socceroo paid tribute to Wanderers for putting faith in their youth.
“I am very happy to be presented with this opportunity and even more happy to be presented with two years on the contract,” Pagden said.
Feature image courtesy of Western Sydney Wanderers' official website
“We’re very fortunate here at this club to have that explicit pathway and for me, training with the likes of Wilma [Daniel Wilmering] and Moey [Mo Adam], we all started at 15 in the same team.
“To see that progression, it’s a real testament to the vision of the club and the dedication that they have in promoting and producing top players.
“I’ve got some great role models to look up to in the likes of Patrick [Ziegler], Dylan [McGowan] and Matty [Jurman] so for me it’s just learning as much as I can from those players.
“I have a job as a young player to push them to ensure that everyone’s working to their best.”
Pagden is yet to make his senior Wanderers bow but did feature with the first team in pre-season, including in the ‘Return to Wanderland’ exhibition match against Leeds United.
The Young Socceroos captain has been part of Western Sydney's Foxtel Y-League squad since the 2016/17 season.