South Melbourne youngster Jesse Daley is looking to use Wednesday night’s FFA Cup semi-final clash against Sydney FC as a springboard to get into the A-League.
Daley said he was on trial with Perth Glory two months ago which fell through. He has experience captaining Brisbane Roar’s youth side and playing with the Young Socceroos.
There has been some form with NPL players being snapped up recently with Heidelberg United striker Kenny Athiu set to join Perth Glory after his stellar performances in NPLVIC and the FFA Cup.
And the 19-year-old was realistic but honest in his ambitions to join the A-League one day.
“Going into the next level is definitely on my mind,” Daley told FourFourTwo on the eve of the semi-final.
“There hasn’t been much progress with NPL players going to the A-League recently but if you give them an opportunity to play at a good NPL team like South then it can be seen as a stepping stone.”
Daley can play in the middle of the park or also out wide scoring one goal in his 23 matches for South in NPLVIC this year.
He also scored in South’s 6-0 thumping over Gold Coast City in the FFA Cup quarter-final last month.
But the teenager feels he can do a lot better.
“I think it’s been good this year to get some games in, to be honest I’m never completely satisfied,” he said.
“There’s been some good moments, some pretty special moments but I’m pretty ambitious and I always like to do better.”
And on the eve of a cup game against the 2017 A-League champions, Daley believes South can upset the Sky Blues.
“It’s been an incredible journey so far in the cup and the feeling has been general excitement as you’d expect, everyone is buzzing and looking forward to it,” Daley said.
“I think there are good nerves but it’s more excitement. A full Lakeside will be an incredible scene, it’ll bring everyone back to the NSL days really.”