Canberra talent George Timotheou was spotted by Sydney FC, but Capital Football technical director Warren Grieve says others haven’t been so lucky. Photo: Melissa AdamsCapital Football technical director Warren Grieve will continue his aggressive push for Canberra to be granted a National Youth League license, adamant A-League-quality talent could slip through the cracks unless it happens.
Grieve will send a strong Youth United squad to play Sydney FC at its training grounds on Wednesday night, giving locals another chance to impress against A-League opposition.
ACT products George Timotheou and Jordan Tsekenis will be part of the Sky Blues’ line-up. Western Sydney Wanders and Melbourne Victory have also played local club teams this year, but Grieve believes the region needs its own NYL team to take the next step.
Grieve wants Youth United to play in the Capital Football premier league, similar to the arrangement struck with the Australian Institute of Sport this year.
“We’re in the unfortunate situation where we don’t have a National Youth League team, and a lot of our players miss out on a chance to be signed to a National Youth League contract, and go on to A-League contracts,” Grieve said.
“We’re lobbying with the FFA [Football Federation Australia] right now. In the short term, they really need to be playing in our local NPL, and that needs to be happening as soon as next year.
“I’ll be making a huge push for Youth United to be a part of that process.
“We need to make that next step. We need to have that team in our local competition, prove our worth there before the FFA will even consider us for an NYL license.”
Grieve said the fact more A-League teams were choosing to play in Canberra was a pointer they consider the region a strong talent pool.
“In terms of those A-League teams coming down and willing to play us, it goes a long way to demonstrating we have quality in Canberra,” he said.
“For that to happen more often, hopefully it will help us take the next step and have an NYL team and also a Canberra A-League team, which is what everyone wants.”
The match is Youth United’s first for the year, and Grieve has drafted some of the best under-20 talent from the Capital Premier League into the squad.
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