This weekend marks the start of the 2015 NPL Victoria season for our Youth teams. Our six teams from the Under 12s to Under 18s will travel to play the Springvale White Eagles on Sunday 15th March.
One of the coaches, Matthew Borowicz, took time out of his busy schedule to talk to smfc.com.au about the upcoming season.
“We went through quite a few organisational activities to set up this year from a footballing perspective. We feel that we are quite ready and organised. From the Under 18s down, we can see the consistency of what we want to achieve, striving for each side to have the same way of playing. We are definitely recognising that improvement slowly… of course, with the younger boys there is a long way to go, however it’s a very positive start.”
The Youth teams are sporting a number of new faces. There are a number of new coaches and new players who are pulling on the South Melbourne jersey for the first time. Every year is a balancing act between retaining a core group of players for each team, pushing talented players to the next age group to aid their development and finally identifying new players to bring into the Club.
Borowicz spoke of the changes the Youth program has experienced, saying that “on average we have about sixty to seventy percent of each squad being the same as last year. So there was not a big changeover of players, which is what we want so we can continue to develop them as a team and as individuals. We prefer to keep as many as possible and it was very positive for us that most of the guys we picked up came from community clubs. We recognise there is a lot of talent in the community clubs so we are giving opportunities to these players.”
The expansion of the National Premier League Victoria in 2015 has resulted in the introduction of a number of new teams at the Youth level. The League has been split into two conferences, being East and West. In the East conference, South Melbourne will participate in a very long season that comprises 34 rounds and a number of gala weekends, with matches on both the Saturday and the Sunday.
Talking about the changes purely from a football development perspective, Borowicz says that “there are definitely challenges for such a long season but the challenges are the same for all of the clubs. Personally, I am looking forward to it as I have been pushing for a longer season for the boys and now we’ve got it. The competition is improving in terms of the level and the opposition… I think its getting better and better.”