Perth Glory announced today the signing of another young talented player, in under 20’s world cup player Jamie Maclaren.
MacLaren has decided ‘to end his four-year spell with English club Blackburn Rovers, rejected overtures from a host of top European and Australian clubs to pen a three-year deal with Glory.’ Which is a decision that has baffled many especially after his performances in Turkey at the FIFA Youth World Cup.
THis is great news in terms of Alistair Edwards trying to build a young team that will stick together and restore Perth Glory to being one of the major players in the Hyundai A-League; that is if they all stay in Australia and do not get poached by overseas clubs.
The problem is on a lesser scale have we not seen this before at Perth Glory. Ron Smith when he was appointed coach also signed many talented young players with a view to bringing them through and building a competitive side over a few years. The trouble was when youth world cup qualifiers came around those players were taken from the squad for international duty. The FFA at that time would not postpone A-League games for players tied up in Youth Internationals, and one would expect that stance to be the same today.
Not only did the club lose the players due to playing commitments but also to camps, which had a disruptive effect on team training as with a few players out with injuries there were as many players on the training paddock as you get at many social league team’s kick-abouts. When you add in the fact that Perth Glory often has less training sessions due to the fixture schedule and flying interstate, it was incredibly disruptive.
Let us hope that the FFA’s stance has indeed changed as it could be a case of deja-vu if Perth Glory pay have to pay the price for promoting youth.