Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Why Canberra needs to plan!

Are Gold Coast junior soccer players better than, and more in number than the thousands in Canberra and the surrounding region.

Well, no and no, is the answer.

But the current Gold Coast United A-League franchise, despite only pulling a couple of thousand people per game, and losing almost half their squad this year, still have a pathway and youth model any young player or parent of a young player in Canberra, would die for.

Read the post on the A-League site also posted here below and see how it would change the focus of player development of our young Canberra players overnight.

We need to plan - who is the we? That's the first problem in Canberra! Local youngsters to get a shot at the big time
Tuesday, 26 July 2011

United Youth Team Head Coach, Mike Mulvey TWO-TIME title-winning coach, Mike Mulvey, will open the door to local youngsters as he begins compiling his squad for what he plans to be a third National Youth League (NYL) championship in three seasons.

Gold Coast United’s youth mentor will offer trials to two recommended under-20 players from every club in the region as he looks to unearth a hidden gem in the local ranks.

After nurturing United’s young brigade over the last two seasons and breeding a winning culture among his troops, Mulvey claimed two successive NYL crowns. But perhaps more importantly, many of the youngsters were primed for senior football.

Foundation youth players, Josh Brillante, Ben Halloran, Chris Harold and Zac Anderson, were all rewarded with senior contracts, leaving both vacancies and opportunities in Mulvey’s new-look squad for the 2011/12 NYL season.

“We will be asking the coaching staff at each local club to recommend their two best young prospects who qualify by age for our youth team and giving them a chance train with us,” Mulvey said.

“It’s a great opportunity for the local football community to strengthen their connection with our youth team who have done the Gold Coast proud over the last two years and represent the career pathways that our club wants to provide.

“Obviously, we will only be able to actually sign the very best of them and spots on our roster will be limited, so for the players who get invited there are two ways of looking at the opportunity.

“Either it will be a chance for them to come into a professional environment and see exactly what is required to make it to the top levels of the game then go away and improve. Or, if they are good enough and we see the right qualities, they could be offered a National Youth League contract with us for next season.

“Aside from the 16 players we are permitted to sign to the NYL roster, we also like to have a handful of others who train with the squad as often as possible and are held in the wings should we need to draft them in for injury cover. These ‘shadow squad’ players build up their skills over the course of the season and could be front runners for youth contracts the following year.”

Mulvey says Gold Coast United’s success in the NYL was not down to a chance meeting of fate and good fortune, but rather the result of shrewd player selection and meticulous planning with a clear outcome in mind.

Every United youth squad is segmented into three development levels to ensure a constant conveyor belt of talent is fed into the senior playing group. After only two seasons in the competition, Gold Coast are arguably leading the way in terms of nurturing home-grown talent for their Hyundai A-League side.

Mulvey explains: “We like to construct the youth squad in a particular way so that we are continually producing players. Out of the 16 we can sign, we want six of those players to be ready to play first team football now if required.

“Then, we want another six who will continue to develop this year and be ready for the first team in 12 months time. The other four remaining spots, plus two to four ‘shadow’ players, are the ones who will be competing for senior football in 24 months.

“If you look at how we’ve done these things historically then it really does highlight what an opportunity this could be for those who have what it takes to make the grade. Josh Brillante, who has been with us from the beginning, now has a senior contract. Zac Anderson, Ben Halloran and Chris Harold all have senior contracts and next in line will be the likes of young Mitch Cooper and others who are entering their second year with us.

“We’ve been watching local games and we’ve already identified a few who may be what we’re looking for, but we will consult with the local coaches and clubs because there may be one or two, or even several, who we are not aware of and we want to give every top young player a chance.

“Helping and developing local young players has always been one of our aims and this is yet another step towards that. The local coaches will also be very welcome to come along to any of the sessions and see how we do things here.”

With the letters going out to local clubs this week, it is expected that the first group will be invited to training in early August.

No comments: