Youngsters seeking to cement top spot


It’s been a successful start to the season for the PGFC Foxtel Y-League side, with last week’s hard-fought point against Melbourne Victory taking the youngsters clear at the top of the Conference A table.

And Head Coach Richard Garcia will be hoping his side can maintain their lead at the summit when they host Melbourne City at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday morning.

City’s solitary outing this term ended in defeat, but Garcia is nevertheless expecting last season’s beaten Grand Finalists to provide a stern challenge.

“They were edged out in Brisbane and will be looking to get their season back on track,” he said, “so we will need to be at our best on Saturday.

“The boys have worked extremely hard and will be looking to continue our good start, but they are well aware there is improvement needed if we are to continue our winning ways at home.”

Garcia went on to identify some key areas in which he’ll be looking for more from his young charges.

“I thought we started the game fairly well [against Victory in Round 2] and created some good chances,” he said. “We must be more composed, though, not only in front of goal, but all over the park.

“Yes, their ‘keeper made several fine saves, but Jackson Lee was called upon to make a few excellent saves for us to keep us in the game late. Overall, we have taken a lot of positives out of the performance and will improve where we were lacking.

“It shows the determination the player-group have that  they were all disappointed not to have won the game. But for many of them, it was their first trip away in the competition and they will have learned a great deal, which will help them on the other away trips this season.”

Glory striker Jaidon Selden, meanwhile, continued his good form against Victory and the 18-year-old, who played for the Joeys in the AFF Youth Championships in 2016, felt that the visitors could have come away from Lakeside Stadium with a second consecutive win.

“I thought that in the first 30 minutes we controlled the game and we were in their front third for most of it,” he said, “but after that we lost concentration and the game changed.

“In the second half they had a lot of chances, but we also needed to put our chances away. Overall it was a crucial point that we secured, but of course we wanted to walk away with a victory.”

Selden went on to confirm that he is hoping his that his performances in purple will propel him back into the reckoning for a recall to the green and gold.

“Off the back of my performance in 2013 at Coffs Harbour, I was called into a camp at the AIS and from there I was selected for the Joeys,” he said. “That was a really proud moment for me.

“In 2016, during the qualifiers, we won the AFF Championship and it was an amazing experience playing in front of 60,000 people.

“I’ve been away from the game due to injury, but I’m really hungry and hope to get back into the youth national team set-up.”

Like Garcia, Selden is expecting City to be up for a big game after their opening round loss, but he remains confident that Glory can snare all three points.

“Training this week has been sharp,” he said. “It’s been tough as well, but the boys have pulled through.

“It’s a challenge to play away and a lot of our boys are new and they experienced it on the weekend, but this weekend we have the home advantage, so we expect to pick up the three points.”

Kick-off is at 10.30am and admission is FREE, so do get along and support the lads if you can.