It’s back to the books this week for Sydney FC teenager Alex Gersbach who is no doubt still on a high from a memorable Hyundai A-League starting debut on Saturday night.
The 17-year-old left-back showed his great talent and composure as he played a superb role in the Sky Blues epic 3-2 derby win over Western Sydney Wanderers FC.
It’s an incredible story considering Gersbach’s preparation for the clash had to be fit around three HSC exams he had to take during the week.
“To be able to make my starting debut against the Wanderers in front of 41,000 people, at our home ground and one of the best football grounds in the country, it was amazing,” Gersbach said.
“To get the win in the end, we might not have started off so well, but in the end we got the win, fought hard, showed courage and determination and to get that win really meant a lot.”
Gersbach will get straight back to his studies this week and may not be available for tonight's Westfield FFA Cup clash against Adelaide United.
Sky Blues coach Graham Arnold is renowned for developing young players and understands you can’t push them too hard, too early.
But Arnold rates the Australian under-17 international as a special talent, which is why he offered Gersbach a first-team deal in the off-season, rather than bring him through in the youth team.
“He’s the reason I didn’t go and chase another left fullback,” Arnold said of Gersbach.
“I think everyone knows I really enjoy developing youngsters, I really enjoy giving kids a go and I didn’t want anyone to stunt Alex’s development.
“I’ve got another good fullback there in Matt Jurman, who can play there if need be, and we’re looking at another youngster that’s coming through.
“The youth side of what we’re trying to do here is betting better and better and the young boys are adding a lot of depth to the squad and they’re pushing the old blokes to another level.”
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