Heart Youth Team Trials Underway

Melbourne Heart FC has kicked-off its National Youth League trials at the La Trobe University Sports Fields in Bundoora.

Melbourne Heart FC has kicked-off its National Youth League trials at the La Trobe University Sports Fields in Bundoora.

Over 70 young footballers from across the State took part in the opening sessions of Heart-s youth team talent identification program, which was overlooked by the Club-s technical staff, including Head Coach John van ‘t Schip, Ante Milicic, Jesper Olsen and inaugural youth team coach John Aloisi.

General Manager, John Didulica says the mantra of the Club-s youth recruitment program is to leave no stone unturned and provide an opportunity to as many players as possible within the Victorian football umbrella.

“The fundamental objective is not to be too insular with our recruitment and certainly create a mechanism where a young player can put his hand up and have a crack,” he said.

“It-s obviously impossible for our coaches to go to every single club in Victoria to assess talent, so it-s far better to actually invite players here so the coaches can start putting faces to some of the names they might be hearing from time to time over the next 12 months.

“But the key is to ensure no player feels they haven-t been given an opportunity to be assessed or watched by the Melbourne Heart FC coaching staff.”

With the likes of Heart-s Nick Kalmar and Adrian Zahra examples of the calibre of player overlooked by the established youth development networks, Didulica said the trials will have a particular focus on players from regional areas or who have otherwise been ignored.

He said: “The trials are an opportunity to open the door to people who don-t have opportunities at all, particularly kids in regional areas where A/they don-t have elite coaches watching them week in, week out and B/they don-t have teams that play in competitions where elite coaches are watching week in, week out.

“Kids in Ballarat, on the border, Gippsland, it-s really important that they be given a forum where they can demonstrate what skills, technique and quality they have.

“A lot of our better players in Australia have come from country regions and I think it-s important we acknowledge that and give them a chance.”