A name to watch out for is Richie Darko of Sydney United 58, a team who again look to have found a glittering gem, if his cameo appearance against Rockdale City Suns is anything to go by.
Coming on in the 51’ minute when replacing Mark Cindric the youngster never looked out of place and pitched in with an eye catching performance that would have earned Man of the Match points had his time on the field been greater.
The diminutive striker has pace to burn, fantastic engines and an abundance of youthful exuberance as he hassled, harried and nipped at the heels of the Suns defence.
With a low centre of gravity he is difficult to knock off the ball or even out of his stride, with a powerful upper body strength allied to a good touch and the vision of those around him to set up scoring opportunities for team mates. Added to which a thunderous shot in his kit-bag, should the chance present itself.
Coach Mark Rudan had this to say: “He came to us and I watched him play a couple of 18s games for us and I liked what I saw so brought him up with us into the first grade.
“He is still very much a work in progress, someone who has to continue to work hard, although he does possess some good qualities about him.”
The age old question as to whether he can last the full 90’ minutes and remain as effective will take time to answer as Rudan continues: “He needs to keep his head down and to work hard and we’ll see what happens from there.
“This club is all about that and we gave some young kids an opportunity last year who have gone on to pick up A-League youth contracts and we will continue to give them a chance and hopefully continue to produce high quality players for the future.
“The most important thing is that by giving them the chance over the years it’s healthy for not just the upper echelons of the code in Australia and abroad but also for Sydney United 58.”
There can be no doubting those words and as usual it will be a case of getting out to a ground near you to watch this young talent emerge, at all clubs, because should they continue their growth and development, you will be paying an awful lot more for the privilege of doing so in the not too distant future.
– By Micky Brock