After two National Youth League (NYL) championships in two years, Gold Coast United’s Head Youth Coach Mike Mulvey is close to finalising his young squad for this season’s title assault.
After two National Youth League (NYL) championships in two years, Gold Coast United-s Head Youth Coach Mike Mulvey is close to finalising his young squad for this season-s title assault.
United have retained the core of last year-s group, but with the likes of Zac Anderson, Chris Harold and others being handed senior contracts, opportunity knocked for the next wave of up and comers.
With a vision of creating pathways for local Gold Coast youngsters, United last month invited each club in the region to identify two talented under-20 players and send them along for trials.
Out of the 60-plus who attended, at least two, and potentially a third, will be featuring in Mulvey-s squad for the upcoming NYL campaign, which kicks off in late October.
The full Gold Coast United Youth Squad will be revealed soon once all paperwork and administration matters are finalised, with Mulvey saying he was delighted to be able to give more opportunities to local players.
“This season we have given the local clubs a lot of involvement in our recruitment by asking them to recommend two of their best young players,” Mulvey said.
“The idea was to open those pathways and show some of these players what preparing for professional football was all about and I was pleasantly surprised by the general standard of those who came to train with us.
“From those trials we have selected at least two, and probably a third, to join us this season and replace the players who have gone on to our first team.
“We have been monitoring one of those players for a while, but even so, it was evident by the quality of the players who came along that the Gold Coast is certainly punching above its weight when it comes to developing youngsters.
“The whole exercise has really paid off in many ways. The local clubs have been part of our selection process and this has been superb in terms of building on those relationships, plus we have been able to create career pathways for more local players to pursue their dream of becoming a professional footballer for their home town club.
“The ultimate aim is to have a National Youth League squad that is made up entirely of players who were born and bred in the Gold Coast region,” he concluded.
In preparation for the new NYL season, United-s youngsters will play a trial match tonight (Thursday) against a Gold Coast Select XI at Surfers Paradise Soccer Club (Lex Bell Oval, Gibraltar Drive, Isle of Capri). Kick-off is at 7.00pm.