YOUTH: “We are growing as a team”

Sitting near the summit of the Foxtel National Youth League ladder, Joe Palatsides’ FNYL side have been playing an impressive brand of football that has seen the side go five games unbeaten.

The FNYL team defeated the Newcastle Jets on Sunday at La Trobe University’s Lower Playing Fields and Palatsides felt his side are well and truly kicking into gear after the opening rounds.

“I thought we played some of the best football all year in the first half,” Palatsides said.

“We knocked the ball around, we moved the ball really quickly, we made some really good runs and we got on the end of some really good chances

“I was really impressed with the way the boys played and it’s just showing that we are growing as a team.”

Although the side cruised to a 2-0 lead in the first half, the Jets made the home side work for their win, picking up a late lifeline to put Melbourne City FC under pressure however Palatsides lauded his side’s ability to hold out the for the three points.

“It’s a good lesson for the boys to be under a bit of pressure and grind out a result,” Palatsides said.

“That was a good match for them to stand up and cover all the holes. Even though it was a bit dicey, the boys stood firm and restricted them to a few half chances in the last 5-10 minutes.”

The FNYL side had an incredible string of passes at the end of the first period which saw the side maintain possession in their forward half and Palatsides expected more of that play from the side moving forward.

“That was one of the best pieces of play we’ve had for a while,” Palatsides said.

“I think it was just over 30 passes we strung together and if you do that on a regular basis, you find that teams are chasing you and you find it a lot easier to penetrate.”

The FNYL side are back home this weekend as they take on Adelaide United this Saturday at La Trobe University’s Lower Playing Fields. Kick-off 2:30pm with entry free. Canteen facilities will also be open at the La Trobe University Pavilion.