Young Aussies Feature - Sydney's Young Hopefuls

Sydney FC's young players looking to make a name for themselves this season

Sydney FC have so far had one of the strongest youth setups since the A-League and National Youth league began. The first season of the NYL saw them take the league title at the end of the season as well as winning the Grand Final and the second season saw them miss out on the play-offs on goal difference only.

In fact, the second season saw them only five points off the league winners in what was an unbelievably tight ladder. This season, they-ll be looking to be involved at the business end of the season too and with the players they have at their disposal, they should be there or there abouts. One product of the youth system who has now become a regular first team player is Kofi Danning. The dynamic forward is a true star in the making and has so far been involved in six matches for Sydney this season.

His main attributes are pace and power, a deadly combination at any level of the game. An obvious eye for goal also ensures that his name is definitely one for the future. Despite being born in Ghana, Danning has made it very clear that his international loyalties lie with Australia and has already represented Australia at the Under 20 FIFA World Cup in Egypt.

Another youth graduate is Rhyan Grant who is considered one of the most exciting young prospects in Australian football. Since making his first team debut in December 2008, the versatile defensive player has played seven matches so far this season and looks to be a first team regular for this campaign. Equally at home as a right back or anchoring midfielder, Grant has also got his name on the score sheet this season proving that he doesn-t just defend. Another young defender to keep an eye out for is Antony Golec. Another mainstay of the all conquering Sydney youth team of 2008/09, he made his first team debut last season but this season we-re sure to see more of the Sydney born defender.

In terms of midfielders, Brendan Gan and Terry Antonis have been involved in the first team. Gan played in 22matches last season, including seven starts and will be hoping for a similar tally this time. He-s also scored some crucial goals and is on the brink of becoming a first team regular.

Fellow midfielder Antonis has also made a substitute appearance this season and is pushing to be involved more regularly and at the age of 16 is the youngest player to have ever been signed by Sydney FC. Big things are expected of the youngster and he-s definitely a name to remember.

In terms of the forward line, current youth team player Dimitri Petratos is tipped to be knocking on the door of the first team this season. Impressive performances in last season-s youth competition saw him feature in 17 matches and the former Penrith United striker will be looking to cement his position in the youth team as well as being involved with the seniors this season.

Fellow striker Blake Powell is also one to watch as are youngsters Dylan Mitchell and Matthew Jurman. Jurman has so far made several first team appearances in the last two seasons and his impressive frame and height make him an intimidating presence in central defence.

He-ll be ready to step in and prove that he-s worthy of a first team spot at the first opportunity and the former Sydney Olympic defender will certainly be a comfortable fit after proving he can handle the step up from youth football.