Well done to the Perth Glory Youth League team for recording their seventh consecutive league win against the Central Coast Mariners yesterday, courtesy of a screamer of a goal from Andrijia Jukic. The young talent from WA have in recent weeks played some excellent football, while at the same time showing passion and determination.
Credit must go to coach Gareth Naven who like all the youth league coaches has had to cope with first team players dropping down to get game time, or returning from injury, and having to rearrange his squad almost on a weekly basis. One of the positives has been that in most cases the first team players have come down to the Youth team and wanted to play, unlike some senior players at other clubs.
Naven is also lucky that he has not had his charges pushing for first team squad inclusion, as at other clubs this too has caused problems with players getting ahead of themselves as to where they sit in terms of their careers as professional footballers. However once again that is part of the development process, teaching players to be self confident, but not arrogant.
Having called the game on the radio yesterday we were astounded to see the players still surging forward looking for a second goal in injury time, instead of trying to keep possession, and run the clock down. This was the football the national team used to play ten years ago, and it cost them dearly.
Instead of running the clock down they lost possession and the Mariners counter-attacked and should have equalised. When asked why they had not run the ball to the corners, the players advised that the coach has told them not to do this, and that he urges them to search for another goal.
Surely part of the development of a player is to teach them how to hold onto a one goal lead in a tight game?
Yesterday they survived, but it would be a cruel and foolish way to lose the Grand final should they get there.