It is good to see that the Perth Glory Youth League team on the verge of their Grand Final appearance have a new sponsor for the next two years GNS China.
The good news being that signing a $1million dollar agreement for two years the costs of running the youth team are all but covered, as it is believed the costs are $500,000 per year.
What needs to happen now is that the club embraces the Youth team a little more than it appears to at present. To some it appears to be a separate club running under the same name, much as the Perth Glory Women’s team does.
Around the country the various other A League clubs have long term development plans in place for their youth league teams to give the young talent the best chance of making the step up to the senior team. Depending on the age of the player signed up these can be a three year, two year or one year plan.
The State League and NTC players now have a pathway to a higher level through the National Youth League, what needs to happen now is that they are given every chance to make it to the national level. There is after all no doubt that players playing for their home town play with the passion the fans want to see, and also pull in the crowds, so this is a key component of the club’s development as a whole.
Hopefully next season the first team coach and his staff will sit down with Gareth Naven and his staff and they will identify players who they feel may be of A league standard in two or three years, and use the youth league to develop them. However when you have a first team coach only on a one-year contract one has to question whether his focus is going to be on development. If he were given a longer tenure then you can set up a structure with the Youth team that will benefit the club long term. But having coaches on one-year deals you will simply stifle that development, which is sad for both the players and the fans and will ultimately restrict the club’s progress.
The Grand Final will be broadcast on 990am in Perth from 11.30am on Saturday.