Off-season speculation: Youth promotions

 

Yesterday I reviewed the players in the 1st team who are coming off contract and which of them are worth keeping, today I’ll take a look at the youth team, and which players within it are capable of stepping up next year. In order to do this the players will be divided into three categories- possible 1st team players, players who are good enough but unlikely to make it, and those who aren’t good enough to step up.

Possible:

Of the 15 players in the youth side- the three below are the ones most likely to get a promotion to the 1st team- based on team need and standout performers.

 

Matt Acton: GK

Years in NYL: 4

I described yesterday how Andrew Redmayne could be leaving in search of 1st team football. If that happens I can see Postecoglou promoting his youth keeper. If Redmayne sticks around then I can see Acton leaving the club to take up a 1st team role elsewhere, he’s defiantly good enough to be involved in a 1st team squad. Even though this is a move I think is inevitable im hesitant to give it more than a 5.

 

George Lambadaridis: Mid

Years in NYL: 1

The boy who came from Belgium has been sensational this season in the youth, providing a consistent attacking threat and chipping in with a few goals. George would be the best in house replacement for Nichols since imo anyway he has some similar characteristics in his play to Mitch.

 

Nicholas Fitzgerald: Fwd

Years in NYL: 3- 1st in Brisbane-

Fitzgerald was from all reports very close to earning a 1st team deal this season and his form for the youth team has been terrific down the right hand side of the front three. That form has gotten him a recent call-up into the 1st team for the Heart and Wellington games, and I would not be surprised if he’s a 1st team player next year.

 

Unlikely:

The following seven players could all make it in the A-League as squad players, but it’s difficult to see how they make it into the squad given the players signed to 1st team roles already.

 

James Donachie: Def

Years in NYL: 2

Good young defender but is there a spot for him? If Mundy leaves the club and they look to youth as a replacement he is probably the best option in the youth team, but I can’t see it.

 

Jason Geria:

Years in NYL: 2

Another decent shout if Mundy leaves, however Donachie is probably just a little bit ahead of him in the pecking order. Still can’t see either Geria or Donachie stepping up next season.

 

Alistair Quinn:

Years in NYL: 3

I like Alastair, but there just doesn’t appear to be any room in the squad for him right now. The fullback positions appear to be stocked up, and I don’t think he has the quality to play in a wide attacking role in the Roar system. The only way he would make sense is if they view Mundy as a backup fullback, and they want to replace him with the younger, cheaper player.

 

Corey Brown:

Years in NYL: 1

Corey is on a fulltime NYL deal –that according to the CM runs for 2 seasons- but imo he’s still too young to make the step up to the 1st team. I watched him carefully on the weekend and while he looked solid, he seemed to struggle in certain movements that Brisbane’s system requires. His crossing also needs work.

 

Kenneth Dougall:

Years in NYL: 3

Dougall plays in the Paartalu role for the youth side and his passing in the role isn’t bad, and wouldn’t look out of place as a squad player. It’s just tough to see how he fits into the midfield

 

Chris Bush: Mid

Years in NYL: 2

Most will remember that the youth skipper held a 1st team slot last season when Reinaldo departed but this year finds himself back on a youth deal. He’s another who’s good enough to step up- and it’s tough because the entire midfield would be capable of stepping up imo.

 

Matthew Thurtell: Fwd

Years in NYL: 2

Thurtell trialled with Wellington during the offseason and was reportedly very close to being offered a deal, but he wasn’t and now he’s back in our youth side. If he doesn’t get a deal with Brisbane it wouldn’t surprise if another club offered him a deal. He makes a lot of sense as well given the squad is short on strikers.

 

Not Happening:

These five have thus far struggled to either get a run in the side, or produce good performances at this level. They all need more time at this level to develop before being considered for the full squad.

 

James Eccles: Gk

Years in NYL: 1

Backup goalkeeper who’s yet to play- not happening.

 

Ross Archibald:

Years in NYL: 2

Utility player who coach Sime obviously likes, but I don’t see it.

 

Brandon Borello: Fwd

Years in NYL: 1

Debut goal against GCU aside, im yet to see anything that warrants a 1st team spot.

 

Jack Bladen: Mid

Years in NYL: 1

Haven’t seen anything in him that suggests a promotion to the 1st team.

 

Tomislav Cirjak: Fwd

Years in NYL: 2 -1st in Brisbane-

Not impacting games enough at that level enough to justify a 1st team spot.

 

In the end at a guess I will say that Acton and Fitzgerald get promoted to 1st team deals, and the rest either move on or remain in the youth side, but id love to see Lambadaridis in there as well.

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