Roar kick off Youth League
Tomorrow marks a historic moment for Queensland Roar as they kick off the first National Youth League competition since the A-League’s inception in a match against Melbourne Victory Youth.
Tomorrow marks a historic moment for Queensland Roar as they kick off the first National Youth League competition since the A-League-s inception in a match against Melbourne Victory Youth.
The Roar-s young guns will be led into the relatively unknown by coach Rado Vidosic as they play Melbourne Victory Youth at Green Gully Reserve, Melbourne.
Vidosic was delighted to see the return of such a significant stepping stone in the development pathway not seen since the National Soccer League days.
“I remember watching the old National Youth League and enjoying the skills of our players that are playing now,” he said.
“Ben Griffin, Tim Smits, Chris Grossman all played in the old National Youth League and to see them getting another chance to get ready for the first team is just unbelievable.”
Players aged 17-21 make up the league, with four over-age additions allowed from the first team.
Griffin, Smits and goalkeeper Griffin McMaster will travel as three over-age squad members, while under-age first-team players Grossman, Tommy Oar and Mitch Nichols will also join the squad for the match.
With a chance to impress and earn a spot back in the first team, Vidosic said he was expecting the senior players to step up and play key roles in the National Youth League.
“I hope that all of them will realise their importance in the team,” he said.
“They are our key players, they should be our leaders. They should be the ones that are pulling, pushing and taking everything to the next level.”
However, the squad will be captained by a youth player, with Brisbane Strikers playmaker Adam Sarota selected to wear the armband tomorrow.
“He-s one of the better National Youth League players,” Vidosic said of the attacking midfielder.
“Players from the first team will come in and out and I don-t want to put any more pressure on them. They need to demonstrate leadership skills but Adam is our skipper.”
Vidosic, who has been the assistant coach for the Roar-s first team since its inception, said the team faced the same challenge of the inaugural Roar squad as they headed to face unknown opposition which may include A-League quality players.
“I-m quite sure our boys will be very, very happy to play against some of them.”
Queensland Roar Youth play Melbourne Victory Youth at Green Gully Reserve, Melbourne at 3.30pm.
Queensland Roar squad: Griffin McMASTER (gk) (OA), Michael RYAN, Michael ANGUS, Tyler THURTELL, Josh McVEY, Isaka CERNAK, Matthew MUNDY, Ben GRIFFIN (OA), Adam SAROTA, Mitch NICHOLS, Tim SMITS (OA), Matthew ACTON (gk), Tom OAR, Chris GROSSMAN, Daniel BOWLES
Unavailable: Luke MUIR (injured), Will TUMUSIIME (injured)