Tuesday, 14 August 2007

A replacement for Leijer?

According to reports today in the Sydney Morning Herald the Victory are set to replace recently departed Adrian Leijer with Australian Under 20 international, Sebastian Ryall. If this is the case it brings to four the number of Under 20 internationals that are in the Victory squad, with the others being Evan Berger, Kaz Patafta and Mitchell Langerak. Along with Adelaide it looks like Melbourne is really giving a good opportunity to young Australian internationals to play in a quality squad and gain invaluable experience and more importantly game time. Word is that Ryall is very comfortable on the ball (something that Ernie Merrick always looks for in a defender and can be seen in his previous signings of Vargas and Milicevic) and has a good technique and reads the play very well. Another aspect that probably grabbed Cole's and Merrick's eye is his versality as he can play at any position in the backline.

This possible signing coincides with the news that this week the football administrators in this country are set to discuss the establishment of either a reserves or youth league for players who are not gaining regular game time in their respective teams. This is an important area of discussion and one of these leagues is a must for the development of the game in this country. A model that this could be adopted is the one that is used in the USL (the leauge below the MLS in the USA) which has a first and second division competition as well as a Under 23 development league. We don't have the population at the moment to have two leagues and a youth league - but having the A-League and a Under 20 competition (our Under 23s are getting constant game time in teams now so this would be a waster of time) would be a step in the right direction. Our young players need more football time than they are currently getting and this would be a perfect opportunity for them.


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