NYL season reviewPosted: February 27, 2013
The 2012-13 National Youth League season came to an end on Saturday when Brisbane had a convincing 3-1 win over Newcastle, on the back of a James Meyer hat-trick, so I thought it would be a good idea to review the season as a whole. Result wise it isn’t Brisbane’s best ever season, with a 4th place finish on the table a slight regression on last season. It would be a 3rd place finish, however FFA decided to dock Brisbane 3 points for fielding ineligible players – Takahashi and Dong-Hyun were both age appropriate for NYL, however FFA deems all foreigners as overage players, thus Brisbane fielded too many overage players-. Results however are not the important part of the youth league, it’s all about development and if you can find a couple of players for the 1st team it’s doing its job. Last season saw Acton and Donachie earn a promotion and this year saw several get A-League deals- both here and elsewhere. Starting with elsewhere- both Jason Geria (Victory) and Nick Fitzgerald (CentralCoast) have both graduated from the youth squad to other clubs for next season. Brisbane however haven’t totally missed out with both Lambadaridis and Brown already earning promotions, and there’s a chance 1 or 2 more may join them.
Just to wrap this up I thought id talk about some of the key contributors to the squad this season, both youth league players and also some 1st teamers who spent most of the season at youth league level.
Ross showed some versatility this season playing in both the defensive midfielder role earlier in the season, before reverting to a new central defensive role –possibly out of nessasity- in the final few weeks. For mine he’s better as a #6 with his passing game. Given he’s played 2 full seasons of NYL now he’s possibly at a crossroads given that typically players don’t play more than that without being promoted to the 1st team.
Brown has featured in the 1st team in recent weeks however earlier in the season he was dominating the left hand side for the youth team. His overlapping runs down the left often lead to chances on the cut back for attacking players. He’s more than ready for the 1st team and wouldn’t let anyone down if he was given regular 1st team football.
Stepped in as the #1 keeper with Matt Acton being promoted to the 1st team, the youngster from Peninsula did a good job in goals. As a shot stopper he’s made some good saves, and his playing out has improved aswell which is important for modern day keepers. Keeping a handle on shots is one thing he can work on imo, but I think we’ll see him back in the NYL squad again next season.
This was his 1st year in the youth squad, and as a young defender he stepped in and did a pretty good job. He played as both a full back and centre back in a defence which was constantly changing. He’s not 1st team quality right now, but he’s still young and it wouldn’t surprise if he was back next year.
Julius was one of Mulvey’s four summer signings and although he looked lively in his 15 minute cameo, he’s got similar issues to those of Kofi Danning imo. He’s able to beat defenders which is a positive, however often the last pass, cross, shot isn’t to the standard required.
One of the 1st teamers, and while we saw him sporadically in the 1st team under Rado, he has however been unsighted since the arrival of Mulvey. He was pushed off the ball too easily in the A-League and the same problem occurs in the NYL. He’s also got a habit of only having 1 one move to try and beat defenders in 1v1 situations, and it rarely works. He needs to make a massive improvement next season, if he’s still at the club.
Seemingly a late add to the youth squad, Dougall was in his 3rd season at the level and split time at right fullback and his natural central midfield role. He’s clearly a favourite of youth coach John Sime who continually barked out instructions at him. He’s not 1st team level imo, and im not sure he’s eligible for NYL next season, so this could be the last we see of him.
Big George got his 1st team deal for next season yesterday which is a positive, but in truth he didn’t have the greatest time in the youth league this season. He started off with a knee injury, and has been called into the 1st team on occasion. All of which limited him to just the 9 games this year. He’s talented though, and has a lot to offer going forward.
1st year youth player Liftin, was another who came in and had an immediate impact as a goal scoring midfielder. I really like Liftin as a player, goal scoring midfielders are hard to find, but he’s also creative in addition to that. Not sure we’ll see him promoted to the 1st team this season, but I think he’ll stick around in the NYL again.
Another 1st year player who had a decent impact, Patrick played wide out on the left typically and chipped in with his fair share of goals (4). I don’t think we’ll see him in the 1st team anytime soon, however id like to see him back in the youth squad next season.
Matt only arrived on the scene late on in the season, but he had an impact. He also showed some versatility playing as an auxiliary defender down in Sydney. He is however better in the final third and that’s where he did his best work. He was an interesting addition to the squad so late, because he’s not eligible for the youth squad next season which indicates Mulvey is atleast considering him for the 1st team next season.
This one needs no introduction and he’s already made his 1st team debut which tells you what the coaching staff thinks of him. In addition to making his A-League debut, he’s also had an impressive season in the nyl down the right hand side, scoring 4 goals. It wouldn’t at all surprise me if he’s in the 1st team squad next season, possibly as a replacement for James Meyer, or Anthony Proia.