Adelaide United FC’s youth squad for the 2012/13 edition of the National Youth League (NYL) has been finalised with a number of exciting new additions joining a host of familiar names from last season.
Adelaide United FC-s youth squad for the 2012/13 edition of the National Youth League (NYL) has been finalised with a number of exciting new additions joining a host of familiar names from last season.
After a series of trials, training sessions, games against local FFSA teams and travelling to China to compete in the Weifang Cup, the squad was eventually narrowed down, with Reds Youth Coach Michael Valkanis including just four new faces as the emphasis turns to continuing the development of players who have had a taste of the NYL.
“The trial process was very similar to last year where we were able to use the Weifang Cup, so I think it has worked out well for us, but we haven-t made many changes to the squad,” Valkanis said.
“There are four new boys added into it so we-ve always looked at it that when you talk about development, it-s a longer process and you can-t just chop and change every year, so most of the boys have been with us for a couple of years, so they are a little bit older and they-ve done quite a bit of work under our guidance.”
“It-s interesting coming into this pre season and working on tactical stuff that they now understand and know what has to be done and the way we want to play, so it makes it a little bit easier and also makes it easier for the new guys in that everyone around them knows what needs to be done and the players take on a leadership role as well.”
The new players in the squad are defensive duo Stefan Cali and Daniel Pritchard, plus forward Nikola Mileusnic and midfielder Thomas Briscoe.
“Nikola Mileusnic is an extremely good talent and we-ve also got Tommy Briscoe as one of the older age players who is an extremely good footballer with a good football brain and he-s got football smarts about him,” Valkanis said.
“Stefan Cali is another we wanted on the list last year but got injured, and he has come along in leaps and bounds. Daniel Pritchard from Playford also gives us that added strength at the back.”
“All in all I think the four new boys are really going to give us something extra and all of the players are looking forward to this season, they-re looking good, not only from results in pre season games but in terms of the way they-ve gone about playing their football.”
“I think the whole process of having a train on squad, Weifang Cup and then selecting for the NYL has been really beneficial in our process of selecting good young talent and developing them over time, and I think this year we will reap the rewards of having that process in place.”
This air of excitement is evident among South Australia-s talented youngsters that will represent the Reds in the fifth season of the National Youth League.
For many of the players, they will be entering their second or third NYL campaign and this experience of being there before and having spent time developing as a team has given them high expectations of being successful.
“Looking at it from last year when the average age was 17, we had one of the youngest squads, and towards the end of last season they did extremely well,” Valkanis said.
“I think this year they have high expectations of themselves because while it is about development, people take notice when you are winning and sitting on top, that-s just the way the landscape is. Winning is part of their development and we want winners at the club, we want players who want to take the next step up.”
The opening round of the season kicks off this weekend with the Reds Youth travelling over the border to take on Melbourne Victory Youth on Saturday afternoon at SS Anderson Reserve Port Melbourne, and Valkanis says the players cannot wait to get started.
“They-re certainly excited. The ones that have been here before know how good it is to be playing in a national competition against not only the best in their age group around Australia but also coming up against professionals from A-League, so it-s a great challenge for them.”
ADELAIDE UNITED FC - 2012/13 NATIONAL YOUTH LEAGUE SQUAD Name (Position, Local Club) Date of Birth Thomas BRISCOE (Midfielder, Birkalla) 7/3/1991 Stefan CALI (Defender, MetroStars) 26/1/1994 Issac CARMODY (Goalkeeper, Port Adelaide Pirates) 12/5/1995 Jordan ELSEY (Defender, Para Hills) 2/3/1994 John HALL (Goalkeeper, Cumberland) 23/10/1994 Shaun HARVEY (Defender, Modbury) 8/2/1994 John KARATZAS (Forward, AIS) 13/7/1995 Dion KIRK (Midfielder, Campbelltown) 5/8/1994 Awer MABIL (Forward, Campbelltown) 15/9/1995 Nikola MILEUSNIC (Forward, White City) 17/7/1993 Jake MONACO (Midfielder, Western Strikers) 23/6/1994 Scott NAGEL (Defender, Birkalla) 23/3/1993 Daniel PRITCHARD (Defender, Playford) 14/5/1993 Anthony TRIMBOLI (Forward, West Adelaide) 6/11/1995 Liam WOODING (Midfielder, Birkalla) 25/5/1993
Coach: Michael Valkanis Assistant Coach: Angelo Costanzo Goalkeeper Coach: Robbie Matosevic Team Manager: Sue Tripodi Trainer: Remo Paris