Development Remains Young Roar Ethos
Words: Michael Flynn
Image: Andrew Shaw/VisibleFocus Photography
Brisbane Roar Youth coach Josh McCloughan has a simple mantra for the upcoming season – development, development, development!
Young Roar confirmed their squad for the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues season, identifying an additional six players that will shadow the maximum 23 players under competition rules.
The majority of the squad were involved in the Foxtel National Youth League campaign over the summer, where Young Roar finished second in Conference A behind Adelaide United Youth.
McCloughan, who is played for Roar in the Hyundai A-League and was coach of the Queensland Academy of Sport side in PlayStation 4 National Preier Leagues 2013, said player development remains the ethos in everything his side do.
“The first thing that needs to be said is that there is a balance in youth football – some people think it’s not about winning at all but we always try and win a game of football,” McCloughan explained.
“The most important part about the way we play is that it’s not at the expense of structures, it’s not at the expense of the style of football and it’s not at the expense of their development.”
To that end, McCloughan said that he and the club will not judge their season based on where they finish on the table but rather how many players they can develop for the Hyundai A-League.
“That’s how I will be judged by myself and how I will be judged by anyone else in the club as well – it’s about how many players I can help to the next level.”
Amongst the returning group of players are PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland 2015 Young Player of the Year Nicholas D’Agostino and Cameron Crestani, who is due to set the record for the most appearances for Young Roar in PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues in the opening round against Brisbane Strikers.
Also returning are a host of young players that impressed at the back end of last year and over the summer including Jesse Daley, Daniel Driver, Daniel Leck
McCloughan said the youth of the squad was a deliberate part of the selection process as Roar assess the next generation of players with the potential to play Hyundai A-League football.
“We’re a younger group. We turned over about twelve players from the end of NPL last year.”
“That’s what it’s about. It’s an opportunity to develop players over a period of time and then we make a decision whether we promote them or we have to move them on and let the next batch try and prove themselves.”
Several new faces also link up with Young Roar including Australian Under 17 representative Joe Caletti and former Western Pride player Ajdin Fetahagic, who returns to Queensland following a brief stint in Bosnia and Herzigovina.
Also in the squad are former PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues senior players Joseph Champness (ex-Moreton Bay United), Jayden Prasad (ex-Redlands United) and Dylan Wenzel-Halls (ex-Olympic FC), who linked up with Young Roar during the summer’s Foxtel National Youth League campaign.
Former Western Pride striker Harrison Sawyer remains in McCloughan’s plans but is not part of the squad at this stage due to injury.
McCloughan said he hopes other PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues players press their case for consideration to join Young Roar throughout the season as part of the talented player pathway.
“We’re always looking to try and bring players in for a training session or a trial to have a look at them.”
“We don’t want to lose Queensland players anywhere else. As far as we’re concerned if you’re a Queensland player we want have first dibs to see if they want to come and play for our club.”
“We’ve always got people at games. We are always on the look-out and if we can keep promoting Queenslanders we will be happy with that,” McCloughan concluded.
Brisbane Roar FC Youth Squad – PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues
Andre JANNESE, Tomislav BILIC, Jaiden WALKER, Cameron CRESTANI, Mark RODIC, Joe CALETTI, Aaron REARDON, Danny KIM, Ajdin FETAHAGIC, Matthew SCHMIDT, Nathan KONSTAND, Adam SAWYER, Daniel DRIVER, Jesse DALEY, Thomas MILLER, Nicholas D’Agostino, Jamie DIMITROFF, Nicholas PANETTA, Daniel LECK, Jayden PRASAD, Joseph CHAMPNESS, Dane INGHAM, Dylan WENZEL-HALLS
Shadow Players: Henry HORE, Cameron O’TOOLE, Lachlan WEIER, Finn MATHESON, Lachlan STROGOSZ, Tom JARRARD