NYL Head Coach John Aloisi anticipates a tough battle when Melbourne Heart FC’s youth team takes on dual reigning champions Gold Coast United this weekend.
NYL Head Coach John Aloisi anticipates a tough battle when Melbourne Heart FC-s youth team takes on dual reigning champions Gold Coast United this weekend.
Sitting second on the NYL table behind Brisbane Roar on goal difference, Heart Youth has made a stellar start to its debut campaign, recording strong wins over Adelaide United and the Newcastle Jets in recent weeks as well a derby triumph over Victory during the opening round.
But Aloisi refuses to be carried away by his side-s remarkable rise from relative obscurity, featuring a litany of players largely overlooked by established development pathways.
“Gold Coast have won the last two National Youth League titles, so they are going to be very strong, we don-t know which senior players will drop down and they will probably leave a few behind after the game tonight with the first team,” he said.
“We haven-t got a big squad at the moment as we have quite a few injuries while as the senior squad have a few players out, we won-t have any Hyundai A-League players so it-s going to be a tough test for us.”
By casting the scouting net far and wide, Aloisi assessed over 500 players to evaluate their suitability for Heart-s National Youth League side, making judgements based on first hand viewing as opposed to perusing scouting reports and playing resumes.
And with Heart-s unique approach appearing to pay dividends, Aloisi could be forgiven for rushing to conclusions.
However, the Socceroo legend remains level headed, preaching calm while reiterating the magnitude of the journey yet travelled.
“It-s been difficult as boys have been thrown together at the last minute,” he said.
“We only had five weeks to prepare for the season, a lot of the other teams, players have been together for years, not only in with their youth teams but in institutes, and whatever else. It-s a progression that will happen over the year.”
Aloisi added: “There will be some results which suggest we-re not quite at that level yet, there-s going to be inconsistency, particularly with young players who haven-t played together a great deal, but since the Sydney result, I-ve been very pleased with how the boys have responded.”