SFC Academy in NPL 2019


Could we? Blackwood played 14 games in 2015-16 so he was definitely unavailable after that. Calver’s eligibility would’ve ended in 2014-15 and I’m not sure we actually had an NPL team at that point anyway. Lokolingoy was getting to an age where if he was going to fulfill his supposed potential, he needed to play at a higher level. If his goal tally in the NPL is as high as Wiki suggests, I don’t know another season or two of NPL would’ve done him any favours. I’m not sure what else we could’ve done better for those guys.

The fact of the matter is we’re not going to convert half of our youth products every year into first-team A-League players, especially at a big club in the league like ours. You just don’t see that very often anywhere in the world. If we even brought through one or two a year with a high level of consistency, I would consider that a success. Maybe even they don’t quite make the grade for us and sign for a lower club, such is the case with Blackwood and Lokolingoy. After that, its up to them if they then improve enough to actually make the grade with us. These things happen all the time.

The other issue is that such is the relative dearth of quality young Australian players anywhere at the moment, that any kid even remotely likely to step up and make it overseas is going to be snapped up very quickly. See John Iredale, who unfortunately has had dreadful luck with injuries since going over there. He looked really good even in his one or two cameo appearances for us before he left. Jacob Italiano is the same over in Perth. He’s far from dominating the league yet, but obviously has potential at his age, so Monchengladbach have snapped him up. Alex Gersbach got a bit further than either Iredale or Italiano in this league, but he hasn’t got as far as we hoped. Only by going overseas and experiencing the pure training intensity and professionalism will we know how far those kind of kids can go. They struggle to get that here.


It’s less than 10 starts in the preceding season only, U23 allows you to turn 23 in the calendar year of the tournament, and there’s no requirement that you had to be registered for NYL.

To my understanding, Blackwood (born 1997) would’ve been eligible this season if he was still with us, Calver (born 1996) too if he was remaining contacted and had one start less.

I’m also not suggesting that we promote half the youth team, but since the NYL started in 2008/09, Rhyan Grant is the only one who was promoted to seniors and then managed to establish himself in our XI.

Antonis sort of did, but was hampered by injury and in the season he was closest to ‘established in the first team’ we signed Tavares ahead of him mid season.

Jurman, Janjetović, Tratt had to leave and come back.

Chianese, Triantis, Gan, Powell, Petratos etc. had spells in the first team but didn’t extend beyond their first contract because we didn’t want them.

It’s not a good record, and it’s frustrating because a number of those players would be preferable to Caceres at RM at the moment (not to mention largely outside the cap by now).


Petratos obviously went further than any other player in that last list but its not really fair to put him in that grouping. He had a big attitude problem early in his career. We know Kalac is a bit of a wanker but when he openly wanted to deck Petratos (or something to that effect) at training, I doubt that was for no reason. He’s obviously much-improved now, on and off the field, but it was a completely untenable situation to have Petratos and Kalac at the same club with all of that going on. He had to leave to grow up, basically, and he obviously has.

Popovic is getting the best out of Chianese and making him look like a competent A-League player that works really hard off the ball. Without him, I wouldn’t be starting him much at most teams, so I don’t regret us letting him go. Most of the forum wanted him gone by the time he was let go, anyway.

As for Triantis, Gan and Powell, only Triantis is currently playing at a level remotely close to the A-League, and Triantis barely played a game for two years before he left us. I think he had some injuries but regardless of that, its not a justification to keep him. I liked him and he was a decent player but I haven’t heard of any A-League club try to get him once he left us.

Antonis was always going to be good enough to try his hand in Europe and was never going to stay that long here. I think Arnold knew ahead of time he was going, and Antonis still had an injury-riddled season, so needed some cover at CM. Sadly Antonis overall was too injury-prone and the move didn’t work, but he’d be a mainstay in the Socceroos team if he managed to avoid all that. Either way, his long-term future was never with us.

Vedran had a lot of fitness issues early in his career IIRC before he got some game time in the NPL and returned to us initially as a back-up.

The only regret from my perspective out of everything listed in your last post was that we didn’t keep Jurman initially, as he had shown plenty of potential, but luckily he came back anyway.

I will ultimately come back to my original point. Quite a few decent youngsters may not make it with us and they will have to eventually find game time elsewhere, whether its another A-League club or in NPL. This kind of thing happens everywhere. I’m not sure how SFC management can be blamed for this.

As far as Caceres is concerned, of course he’s an average player but its not his fault the injury toll has been such that we’ve had to start him in every game. I’m sure that was not Corica’s intention.


Interesting rule, but it certainly wouldn’t have kept Blackwood and Calver at the club. They’re at an age where they need to and deserve to play somewhere regularly in the A-League. It just wasn’t going to be with us.


I think the real problem is not that some of our “chosen” youth players did not get enough game time in the HAL with us, as Blackwood, Naumoff, Chianese and George L and others got vastly more than they deserved at that time. That some have gone on to look HAL standard at other clubs probably reflects that, in being let go by SFC, they had to grow up and leave home, recognising that they had to work at it seriously themselves as mummy and daddy SFC would not be looking after them for ever.

I think the real problem was all the much, much better players we let go and never gave a chance to, and for this I blame our coaching staff: Azani and Timeotheu would be the most obvious:


That was just a friendly for Timotheou. He’s been playing a reasonable amount of games for Schalke II, but they’re in the fifth tier of German football at the moment. For the record, they seem to be a long way ahead, so promotion is almost a certainty. Then he will, in theory, play at the same level Kwame Yeboah did for most of his time in Germany. That’s how far he has to go. I’d be stoked if he made the first team but I’m not holding my breath.


Academy is about to start:


For anyone not going up to Newy tomorrow, the Sydney FC academy are playing Sydney United 58 at Lambert Park tomorrow at 1pm, meaning that you can comfortably still be home in time to watch the senior team as well.

This is pretty much always the spiciest affair in the academy season, with both sets of fans usually up for it. It’s always nice to get one over the fascists.


Well be interesting to see how we get blamed for anything that happens despite not being in attendance.



I imagine they were worried about security costs? Well live stream it is.

Edit: I still think I’m right but the official reason is this:

A number of exclusion zones have been implemented at Lambert Park due to remediation work required on the grandstand along the Marion Street side of ground. As a consequence, Sydney FC, Sydney United 58 FC and Football NSW made the decision in the interests of spectator safety.


Academy start in 15 minutes:


Well taken by Swibel for our first one there.


Can’t argue with that goal from Gallegos.


A note for anyone else thinking about going to tomorrow’s game against APIA:


Link for U/20’s:


And here’s the first grade, starting at 7.


1-1 draw at Sutherland. Lokolingoy scored for Sutherland after we took a late lead. Disappointing to concede the way we did, as well.


Good game going on at Belmore, SFC up 3-2 after 70"

Ivanovic with a very nice finish for the second.


Held on to win 3-2. Good win, survived a barrage in the final 30. I think that is Ivanovic’s first goal of the season.