ROOS’ NEXT CROP
Meet the A-League’s young guns destined for the world stage
LITTLE more than one round into the new season and already it’s clear there’s no shortage of young talent coming through the A-League’s ranks.
And while the Socceroos remain a distant dream for most, these six silky-skilled kids look to have what it takes to get there. Joel King, 18 Sydney FC, left- back Any Sky Blues fans who watched King’s exquisite pass for Kosta Barbarouses’ disallowed goal against Adelaide last week won’t be too worried about Michael Zullo’s quad injury. It’s generally the misfortunes of teammates that give the kids a go and King’s second A-League start revealed this left-back has the talent to flourish in the top tier. A graduate of the now-closed FFA Centre of Excellence in Canberra, King displays a confidence beyond his years. Connor Metcalfe, 19 Melbourne City, midfielder Tipped as this season’s breakout star, the Young Socceroo and City youth product has already impressed in the FFA Cup and grabbed an A-League starting spot under new coach Erick Mombaerts in last weekend’s Melbourne derby.
The aggressive left-footer is everything a good midfielder should be and more, with an eye for goal evident in this month’s cracking Cup semi-final finish against Brisbane Strikers. Sebastian Pasquali, 19 Western United, midfielder Back in 2016, a 17-year-old Pasquali got his first taste of senior football for Melbourne Victory, scoring the winning penalty against Juventus in the International Champions Cup.
Two A-League games and less than two months later, the raw Year 11 schoolkid was being courted by the Italian giants before Ajax snagged his signature. While Pasquali featured semi-regularly for Ajax’s reserve team, his return home under Mark Rudan may offer the opening that one of Australia’s standout young players needs. Sam Silvera, 18 Central Coast Mariners, winger/ No. 10 This young star possesses plenty of pizzazz. The Western Sydney youth product, named Wanderers under-20 player of the year in 2017, joined the Mariners on a scholarship in June chasing first-team football. After turning heads with a maiden professional goal in Central Coast’s FFA Cup semifinal run and making his Olyroos debut, Silvera signed a three-year A-League deal. His vision, balance and dribbling make the Sydneyborn teen a major asset to Alen Stajcic’s side. Al Hassan Toure, 19 Adelaide United, striker Four FFA Cup goals were quickly followed by a first A-League goal for the Guinea-born striker. New Reds coach Gertjan Verbeek stumbled upon Toure while watching an NPL game and promptly promoted him to firstteam training. Technically sound, he has an immaculate eye for the target and is not afraid to take on older and bigger opponents. The raw but brilliant talent fills Adelaide’s gaping hole upfront.
Al Hassan Toure.