Ahead of its commencement, FTBL's Joey Lynch breaks down everything you need to know about the 2019/20 Y-League season.
2018/19 A-League Minutes for Players 21 and Under: 673 (Ninth in A-League)
Home Ground: Epping Stadium
Head Coach: Gareth Naven
Squad: Matthew Sutton, Branko Skocic, Andrew Visciglio, Aaron Anderson, Brandon Lauton, So Nishikawa, Matthew Bozinovski, Dalibor Markovic, Robson Deme, Jay Barnett, Anthony Lesiotis, Birkan Kirdar, Jack Morton, William Wilson, Joshua Varga, Nicholas Hamakiotis, James Paneras, Lleyton Brooks, Yazid Said, Jack Palazzolo, Liston Diaz, Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio, Nishan Velupillay
2018/19 Season: Fifth in Conference A. One win, one draw, six losses and a goal difference of -14.
Best Y-League Result: Premiers (2012/13)
Young Player to watch: Birkan Kirdar
A technically proficient midfielder who possesses a footballing nous that is rare amongst his cohort, Kirdar already seized a piece of Victory history when he became their youngest ever debutant after coming on in an Asian Champions League game against Shanghai SIPG at just 16 years and 70 days.
The now 17-year-old was recently a member of Head Coach Trevor Morgan’s Joeys’ squad that advanced to the Round of 16 at the U17 World Cup in Brazil; his cameos throughout the tournament demonstrating that he was, perhaps, stiff not to receive more minutes in South America.
A-League fans could potentially get a look at Kirdar as soon as this Sunday, with the youngster touted as a possible reinforcement for Victory’s heavily depleted squad in their Big Blue showdown with Sydney FC at Jubilee Stadium.
2018/19 A-League Minutes for Players 21 and Under: 4,107 (Fifth in A-League)
Home Ground: CB Smith Reserve
Head Coach: Petr Kratky
Squad: Liam Kennedy, Ahmad Taleb, Alec Mills, Mitchell Graham, Harry Politidis, Gideon Arok, Daniel Lucente, Mark Karlic, Emile Peios, Jordi Valadon, Luke Oresti, Nicholas Hatzigeorgiou, Luca Tevere, Alex Menelaou, Giovanni Stellitano, Lucas Byrns, Jordan Bos, Charbel Shamoon, Sam Morrison, Raphael Borges Rodrigues, Idrus Abdulahi, Yaya Dukuly, Joe Gauci, Kerrin Stokes, Gianluca Iannucci, Bernardo Oliveira, Stefan Colakovski
2018/19 Season: Second in Conference A. Five wins, one draw, two losses and a goal difference of +5
Best Y-League Result: Champions (2016/17) – Premiers (2014/15)
Young Player to watch: Raphael Borges Rodrigues
An exciting attacking prospect possessing an arsenal of flicks and tricks to take him past his defender and, perhaps more importantly, a willingness to use them; Borges Rodrigues made his mark with City’s youth side in the latter stages of the recently completed NPL Victoria season and will look to continue that momentum into the coming Y-League campaign.
Recently the recipient a scholarship contract from City, the 16-year-old son of former Adelaide United attacker Cristiano has already been floated as a possible reinforcement to the A-League squad by Head Coach Erick Mombaerts in 2019/20 and – with the Frenchman showing no hesitation in playing the kids already – an A-League debut surely can’t be too far away.