Stars, stats and storylines for Foxtel National Youth League’s final rounds

A goal-heavy Foxtel National Youth League season is nearing its conclusion with a host of young talents eager to claim a share of the limelight.

With two rounds to play, no team has yet been able to lock away a spot in the Grand Final – a stage on which Melbourne City’s breakout star Daniel Arzani shone last season.

Here are the key storylines and stats you need to know for the run home.

BRIGHT PROSPECTS

Several of this season’s stars have already gone on to grab the spotlight at senior level.

Arzani has undoubtedly been the standout in recent weeks, immediately turning heads as a creative force for City, while teammate and fellow teenager Nathaniel Atkinson has been equally impressive in cementing a first-team spot.

Marco Kurz’s faith in youth at Adelaide United has also been repaid by the likes of Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and Kristin Konstandopoulos, while Lachlan Wales won his first Mariners start on the weekend.

Rahmat Akbari, Charles Lokolingoy and Christian Theoharous are just some of the other exciting talents to have earned multiple opportunities this term.

Adelaide United youngster Apostolos Stamatelopoulos.
Adelaide United youngster Apostolos Stamatelopoulos has got a taste of the Hyundai A-League.

GRAND FINAL SPOT UP FOR GRABS

Reigning champions City remain the team to beat and only need a single point from their final match to book a spot in the Grand Final.

Melbourne Victory are an outside chance to snatch that away from their rivals, although they’ll need a comprehensive win in this weekend’s derby to have any hope of topping Conference A.

The field is marginally more open in Conference B, where Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets need maximum points to keep the pressure on Western Sydney.

Wanderers’ record of five wins and two defeats has them likely to edge in ahead of the Sky Blues, who have contested the past two deciders.

Melbourne City's Braedyn Crowley has been banging in the goals again this season.
Melbourne City's Braedyn Crowley has been banging in the goals again this season.

TOP STATS

A high-scoring season has seen six individual players net hat-tricks: Stamatelopoulos (Adelaide), Abraham Majok (Wanderers), Braedyn Crowley (City), Matias Paz (Mariners), Angus Thurgate (Jets) and Pierce Waring (Victory).

Townsville-born Crowley leads the race for the golden boot with seven goals, although Majok (six) and Thurgate (five) may yet wrest the honour from him.

Interestingly – and to their credit – not one Foxtel National Youth League player has received a red card this season!