Crook happy with NYL form but focussed on development

Sydney FC NYL Coach Ian Crook will not switch his focus from developing players for the first team despite going into the season opener against Adelaide at Leichhardt Oval this Saturday

Sydney FC NYL Coach Ian Crook will not switch his focus from developing players for the first team despite going into the season opener against Adelaide at Leichhardt Oval this Saturday on the back of three successive friendly victories.

Crook and the Sydney FC coaching staff have selected a younger NYL team this season, with 10 players under the age of 18, as the club focusses on developing players for the first team over results.

Leading into the start of the NYL season, Sydney FC has defeated the Central Coast Mariners 2-1, the Australian Institute of Sport 2-0 and an ACT-based Academy team 10-0.

It was a solid lead up to the NYL season but Crook is determined not be get carried away, although he is pleased with the way the young team has been playing.

“We have selected the younger team because we firmly believe the youth team is there to develop players and support the A-League team,” Crook said. “We won-t be swaying from that but I-m happy with the way the boys have played.

“We beat two of our National Youth League opponents in the Central Coast and AIS, which is a good sign, but I am more pleased with how the players have progressed from match to match. The progress has been very noticeable.

“Don-t get me wrong, we want to win everything and we will be going out there with that winning mentality, but we won-t be making decisions based on winning that will harm the development of the players.”

The Sydney FC NYL team takes on Adelaide United as part of a NYL / W-League double header at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday (22 October). The NYL game kicks off at 12noon and the W-League kicks off at 3pm.