Young Aussie Feature: Perth Glory

Perth Glory have an impressive future ahead with the strong youth setup they have

Perth Glory are another example of a club who greatly value bringing on young players alongside the more established professionals. Glory-s youth team is going strong so far this season, currently sitting in third within touching distance of the top two.

The recent signing of impressive youngster Adam Taggart from the Australian Institute of Sport is further proof that they-re willing to invest in young talent and back them from an early age. His performances for the AIS caught the eyes of several clubs but Perth were top of the queue for his signature.

In terms of young players already in the setup, forward Anthony Skorich is one of the most promising and has appeared eight times for Perth so far this season.

After making an impression on the Glory coaching staff in the WA State League, Skorich played in Perth's National Youth League team in the 2008/09 season. That year, he made several appearances in the Glory senior squad and has since been on the brink of becoming a first team player.

English born striker Tommy Amphlett is another who has played a handful of games this season and the club staff have high hopes for him. Manager Ian Ferguson is impressed with what he-s seen so far.

“He-s got so much to offer, blistering pace, good finishing and he-s a hard worker. He had a great game when we threw him in against Brisbane.”

Left back Brent Griffiths is also a name to remember, promoted from Perth Glory's Youth League team after an impressive season in 2008/09, Brent is an exciting defensive prospect and one of the club's outstanding young brigade.

His talent was identified early and was snapped up by English side Blackburn Rovers where he spent time in their youth system before returning to Perth. First team manager Ian Ferguson said he-s got high hopes for the “6 foot 4 strapping lad. He-s tough and plays good football.”

In midfield, another product of the AIS youth system is Howard Fondyke who has so far been involved in 5 matches this campaign. The Perth local is noted for his skill on the ball and wonderful passing range.

Having made the step up to the Hyundai A-League last season he-ll be looking to continue his rapid development.

In terms of players in the youth team who are on the fringes of the first team squad, Ryan Pearson, Cameron Edwards, Sebit Oyet and Dean Evans all stand out.

Ryan Pearson became the fifth Glory Youth team player to make his senior debut after playing against Brisbane. The 21 year old was thrown into the action after an injury gave him the opportunity and at the end of the game received rave reviews from the Fox Sports panel.

Midfielder Oyet was singled out by youth coach Naven who says his versatility in midfield makes him a great player to have in the squad. His quick feet and pace are two of his major assets that should see him involved with the first team this season.

Finally both Evans and Edwards are also expected to be involved in the first team squad during this campaign. Edwards has made an impressive start in the NYL scoring 4 goals in 7 games so far, whilst Evans won the most glorious player in the youth team earlier this year.

Perth youth team coach Gareth Naven confirmed the importance of youth in Perth-s first team plans.

“Potential is a big thing. If the opportunity-s given then the young players will take them. We have to take note because pretty much all of the under 20 national team players are in the A-League squads.”

Backing up his youth team counterpart, Ian Ferguson says the value of the young players mustn-t be underestimated.

“They-re going to be important with the tough run we-ve got coming up, especially when the games are coming thick and fast around new year.”