Melbourne City Youth League coach Joe Palatsides says the future stars of the A-League will be on display in tomorrow afternoon’s National Youth League Grand Final
The Citizens take on reigning champions Sydney FC at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford at 2pm. The game will be shown live on FOX SPORTS and played prior to Saturday’s A-League match between Central Coast Mariners and Perth Glory.
Melbourne City FC finished top of their conference with 16 points from their eight matches and City coach Joe Palatsides says his young chargers are ready to take on the Sky Blues.
“We are really looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “We’ll be trying to win. We want to see how we measure up against the best and on the big stage like the Grand final there is nothing better than seeing how the boys stand up against a high-pressure environment like that.
“We want to win playing our football in the style of play that we really believe in. It is a shared philosophy across all the teams in the city football group and we are keen to put on a good performance so hopefully the result will come with that as well.”
While young rising star Ruon Tongyik has been getting the plaudits for his performances after transitioning City's youth to senior side Palatsides said there were more youngsters who had also impressed.
“He’s played the youth games to get him adapted to style our style of play and he came along really, really quickly and he’s proven that he’s worthy of playing at the A-League level,” he said. “
"Look at Daniel Arzani as well, he’s come on and made a difference and an impact for the A-League team.At the start of the year there was Connor Metcalfe, Gerrie Sylaidos and Denis Genreau who all were selected to go to the pre-season camp in Townsville and they all performed well. Young Dylan Pierias is a right back that played for the national youth team and he is another outstanding young talent. We’ve also got Yusuf Ahmed who is top scorer in the competition."
In 2015 Ahmed featured in FourFourTwo Magazine‘s rising NPL stars to watch and Palatsides said that the young striker was sounded out by City as a future prospect even earlier.
“I spotted him in the NTC program four years ago,” he said. “We brought him to our development squad and even though he was playing for Dandenong he was already on our radar back then. He is performing at a very good level. On the weekend he scored a hatrick and is on the radar of the senior coach and he is one of the players that will be playing A-League football shortly.
“There is a lot of excitement for all the fans out there for the future of Melbourne City with these young players coming through. I’m sure they will be tuned in for the Grand final on Saturday and they’ll see some of the budding stars of Melbourne City putting on a show for them at 2pm on Saturday.”