Melbourne City’s Y-League side will return to action this weekend, making the trip North to face Brisbane Roar at the Logan Football Complex at 4:00 pm on Saturday.
Y-League Head Coach Joe Palatsides on Monday named a strong squad for the upcoming season; the group featuring Australian U16 representatives Jordan Bos, Luke Duzel, and Josh Varga and U19 representatives Connor Metcalfe, James Delianov, Moudi Najjar, Dylan Pierias, and Josh Cavallo.
For Delianov, who played every minute for the Young Socceroos in goal at the recent AFC U19 Championships in Indonesia, the Y-League represents a fantastic opportunity to maintain sharpness as he awaits the call to make a senior debut with Warren Joyce’s A-League side.
“I’m always ready,” Delianov said
“It would be nice to make my debut, but I’ve got to be patient, I understand that.
“I’m waiting for my chance and working hard every day in training.”
Delianov’s status as one of the best young goalkeeping prospects in the country is not only down to his performance in a green and gold jersey, however, with the 19-year-old also impressing week in and week out when called upon for City’s youth sides.
Be it against the best young players in the country in the Y-League or some of the best players outside of the A-League in NPL Victoria, Delianov has made a habit of making the extraordinary look routine in his performances for Palatsides’ youth teams; frequently making saves that would not look out of place on the playing fields of Europe – let alone in the A-League.
As one of City’s scholarship players, Delianov also regularly trains with the senior A-League side during the week and can often be seen on A-League match days as the third goalkeeper warming up with Eugene Galekovic and Mark Birighitti.
Though it can be an agonising time for a young player as they await the call from the senior gaffer that signals an opportunity with the first team, Delianov is keeping a mature mindset as he puts in the work that, step by step, moves him closer to a senior call-up.
“You have to focus on yourself” he explained
“If you get caught up on other people and what they’re doing you can go insane.
“I just come into training, do the best I can and try to get better each day.
“It’s the same with every game with every game I play. Whether it’s a friendly or in the Y-League this season I’m going to be applying myself 100%.
“All the goalkeepers that I’ve worked under, I’ve always been a mentee of.
“Even with Mark coming in recently. The boys always look after me.
“It’s always a discussion after training or during training telling me to tweak this or try this out.
“If I can pick up as many little things as I can off different styles and players I feel like I give myself the best chance to be the best keeper I can be.”
“Going away [as a part of the Young Socceroos squad] I feel like I’ve gained some confidence.
“I am more confident now, 100%.
“[The] belief’s there, it’s always been there, it’s just now a case for showing it and showing the boss what I can do if the chance comes.”