Anyone who listened to the Perth Glory Youth league coverage of their game against the AIS on 990am Information Radio would have heard a suggestion made by ex Perth Glory Coach and probably the best development coach this country has had, Ron Smith in relation to the substitute’s bench during Hyundai A league games.
Ron advised that when he was coach of The Perth Glory, at a coaches meeting, he suggested that at home games the home side be allowed to have seven players on the bench; Although the team would still only be allowed to have three substitutions.
His reasoning was that this would expose young players to match day preparations, so that when they did make that step up it would not be such a shock and nerves would be lessened. He also believed that it would enable coaches to give youngsters a chance more than they will at the current time.
At present, with only three outfield players and a goalkeeper on the bench, most coaches are going to opt for a defender, a striker and a midfielder to cover all bases. In addition they will tend to go for players with experience in these positions, therefore closing the door on a great deal of the young players coming through.
If you had the extra players on the bench for home games there is no additional cost to the club, yet if you are winning easily it may be the perfect chance to blood a young player and see what he is capable of, while if you are losing you can still use the more experienced player.
All of the Hyundai A league coaches at the time voted in favour of this when Ron raised it, and it seems to be an idea that only has positive benefits for all concerned. The question is if the feeling for this was unanimous why, two years later, has it still not been implemented?
It makes sense to us.