City Foxtel National Youth League Head Coach Joe Palatsides says his side’s hard work throughout the season has culminated into a spot in Saturday’s Grand Final, saying his side’s style and endeavour has got them this far in the competition.
His side will prepare for Saturday’s NYL Grand Final against Sydney FC after finishing top of Conference A and Palatsides feels the nature of the game will not be daunting to his young chargers who have faced a number of do-or-die matches this season.
“The main focus is on the development of the young players but this is a bonus for them because they have performed well in big games,” Palatsides said.
“There has been a lot of pressure games like the derbies and then we had to win in Brisbane away from home and then we had to win in Perth to make the Grand Final so they are performing well not only throughout the season but in big games as well.
“At the end of this period, they have something to play for and this is their highlight of the season so their hard work gets rewarded on the weekend and we’re all looking forward to it.
“Overall, I think we played some really good football and we deserve to be at the top of the conference. Getting there one game before the end of the seasons probably shows that we did deserve it.”
Despite the chance to add another piece of youth silverware to the cabinet, Palatsides’ biggest reward is overseeing the development of young players under his tutorship, saying that’s the Club’s overall goal.
“It’s more important for me to see the boys playing the A-League team,” he said.
“I get a real kick in seeing players like Denis Genreau and all the boys who have played in the A-League last year. This year we have a really good bunch of young players who are on the verge of A-League selection and I’m really excited about that.
“If we can add a trophy to the youth league system then that’s great and we’ll happily take that but the focus is on getting these boys playing A-League football and from that point on, can we make them long standing citizens in terms of an A-League regulars for Melbourne City and that’s a big ambition for us.”
City take on Sydney in the NYL Grand Final on Saturday at Central Coast Stadium, kick-off 2pm. See the match live on Fox Sports 505.