The creative Young Socceroo joined United at the start of this season after impressing then coach Miron Bleiberg.

He played in the youth team then later in the campaign, when Mike Mulvey took over the coaching reins from Bleiberg, the 18-year-old Melbourne youngster got his chance to play more regularly with the first team.

When asked about Barker-Daish, Mulvey said he’d caught his eye and was in no doubt about his potential to star in the league.

“His work-rate has improved dramatically and his technical ability and ability to control games really impressed me,” he told

As for Barker-Daish, it’s been an emotional time for the former AIS student at a club that’s officially been canned by FFA.

“I’ve made a lot of life-long friends in the group. So it’s been tough to walk out and it hasn’t really sunk in that it’s ended like it has.

“But it was an enjoyable experience in the end, despite what happened.”

The team’s final ever training session at Carrara was a light-hearted one.

It was also filled with sadness, said Barker-Daish.

“It was all fun and games. We had a five-a-side. I played in goals and made some good saves! But it was a strange feeling when it ended. A few man hugs but no tears!”

Barker-Daish admits his work-rate has upped enormously under Mulvey. He also confirmed the view that the players were big fans of the English-born coach for the work he did at training under Bleiberg.

“I like to think of myself as a creative midfielder but under Mike I’ve worked harder and I think he’s helped take my game to another level.”