Youth Policy Pays Dividends

*Header photo by @TwoHalves45 on Twitter

Victorious Sydney FC under 16s Championship winning Head Coach Jason Rea believes the development policy of the club has helped their successful season.

After finishing the regular campaign in second position, the side defeated Marconi Stallions and Western Sydney Wanderers in the quarter and semifinals before defeating St. George FC 1-0 in the Grand Final at Valentine Sports Park.

Rea says the way the club promotes junior players to squads above their age level helps them improve their football abilities.

“We try to push the kids to help aid their development,” he said.

“Fifty per cent of our under 16 squad were actually under 15 and because of their challenge levels they’ve gone on to represent Australia in the Joeys under 15s side.

“We had just over 40 players in the squad with some as young as 14. To see the younger kids play up against kids older than them was touching.”

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This group of Sydney FC youngsters have been with the club in 12 years old.

Rea was happy with his sides performance on the day and throughout the season.

“It was a game we dominated and had most of the ball and the chances.

“It was a typical Grand Final and the opposition prevented us from achieving our game plan which required us to unlock their defence.”

Aidan Simmons scored the winner in extra-time converting a penalty after being fouled in the box.

Simmons played the majority of the season for the under 18s which Rea thinks improved his overall game.

“He’s a 16-year-old that excelled in his age group which has seen him play a reasonable amount of times in the under 18s.

“From a coach’s perspective, it was a fantastic season. We only lost two games all year which was really positive. We scored a lot of goals and also didn’t concede many.”

Rea and the squad will spend the next six weeks recovering before returning to training in November ahead of the 2020 campaign.