Young Aussies Feature - Adelaide United Young Guns
The lowdown on the promising young players at Adelaide United
Adelaide United are a Hyundai A-League squad that is marrying youth with experience and has a good stock of young players knocking on the door of the first team.
Some players have already become well known first team regulars and there are a host of others waiting for their chance to come along.
The most notable young success for United is Matthew Leckie who has become an established name in the Adelaide team, playing no less than 20 games last season.
He-s yet to reach his twentieth birthday and started nine of United's games so far this campaign. He also featured in the final 25 for the Australia World Cup squad that went to South Africa.
It probably would-ve been more but unfortunately for the impressive right midfielder, he-s been sidelined after a tough tackle hit him on an already strapped up knee in the clash with Melbourne Victory.
He also scored some important goals in the AFC Champions League and has been impressive in his outings there too. Hopefully the player will be back before the end of the season to continue his consistent improvement.
Another major United player-s form to keep tabs on in the future is striker Francesso Monterosso. His eye for goal has been something to behold in the opening two seasons of the National Youth League, where he has been the top scorer in both seasons.
Last season he topped the charts with 17 goals and in 2008/09 he ended up with 13 goals. This will surely mean that he-s due for his first A-League goal at some point but his match time in the senior competition has so far been limited.
Another with an eye for goal coming through the ranks is Evan Kostopoulos who has so far scored twice in five appearances this season in the National Youth League. He made his A-League debut last season in January but with United-s flying form which has taken them to the top of the table, he-s not managed to break into the first team so far this campaign.
Aside from promising attackers, players such as Bradley Norton, Liam Wooding, Mitch Nicholson and Iain Ramsay deserve a mention. Ramsay was a National Youth League graduate from last season but again with the almost perfect start Adelaide have had, he-s yet to make an impact in the first team.
Wooding-s impressive appearances for United in the National Youth League will not have gone unnoticed and aside from setting up the winning goal against Newcastle Jets Youth team, he-s put in several key performances.
Adelaide United are proving that mixing youth with experience is an important blend. The almost unblemished start to United-s season has had the effect on giving the young players very little game time but the longer the season goes on, the more opportunities the young players will get to cement their places in the first team squad.