The fluid approach of Sydney FC’s National Youth League side paid dividends again on the weekend as they recorded a dominant 5-1 win over Melbourne Victory at Leichhardt Oval.
The fluid approach of Sydney FC-s National Youth League side paid dividends again on the weekend as they recorded a dominant 5-1 win over Melbourne Victory at Leichhardt Oval.
Goalkeeper Ryan Norval had a great view of the action and was well placed to discuss the finer points of a particularly impressive performance.
“Everything was just working for us,” Norval said. “We were 4-0 up at half time.”
“We started really strongly in the first couple of minutes and really got in to the game,” he continued.
The well-spoken youngster said that the mentality of the squad was key to such a performance.
“We obviously knew that Melbourne Victory had been struggling, but we went in with the right frame of mind and that allowed us to dominate the game.”
First teamers Juho Makela and Hiro Moriyasu both took part in the fixture; Makela netting two goals.
“It-s always good to have first teamers. They are the players we look up to,” said the young keeper.
“Obviously Juho scored the two goals but Hiro was great in the midfield. They add a lot of experience.” Ian Crook-s side have scored five goals in each of their three wins this season. With the forwards in good form, Norval said it was critical that the rest of the side laid the foundations.
“The strikers are doing really well, but it starts from the very back, through the midfield and then up to the forwards.
“It-s really good to see this form so early in the season and hopefully it continues.”
For the Sutherland junior, it has been a season full of learning and improvement. Although happy with his own form, he admits there is much to learn in a trade where experience is critical.
“I feel like I-m going really well. My technique was a bit wrong at the start, but I-m gradually improving and I feel like it-s showing in my performances.”
Sydney FC-s goalkeeping coach Zeljko “Spider” Kalac had one of the most decorated careers of any Australian footballer to date, and his influence is rubbing off on Sydney-s youth team custodian.
“It-s fantastic having ‘Spider- around,” said Norval. “I couldn-t ask for anyone with more experience. He-s always offering advice and teaching.”
The 19 year old though, retains his sense of perspective.
“I think I-ve really improved this season, but there-s much more to work on. I-ve got plenty of time.”
Under the tutelage of Kalac and with his sense of maturity and calm, Norval-s fledgling career is very much on the right track.
Photo taken by Ron Hughes