Next Gen Brisbane Strikers Delight Under 20’s Coach

Jul 12, 2019 by

Brisbane Strikers Under 20’s coach David Provan has expressed his delight at the progress of a number of his rising talents in the club’s senior set-up this season.

Provan’s insight comes ahead of this weekend’s National Premier Leagues derby clash with near-neighbours Brisbane City at CTM Stadium.

With Brisbane Strikers seeking to maintain their newly-acquired hold on fifth place in the league standings – a number of young players could provide both key and supporting roles in the quest for three points.

Amongst those in the frame for selection are a host of players that commenced the season in Provan’s Under 20’s team – including now-regular midfield starter Cade McDermott and recently promoted fullback Lloyd Cabilan.

Also, pushing for a place every week are other youngsters that have seen senior minutes this season including attacker Tana Entrop, defender Aiden Bender, midfielder Danilo Kovacevic and goalkeeper Tomi Mesaric.

Provan, who also serves as an assistant to Brisbane Strikers head coach Owen Baker, said the progress of his charges has been one of the positives for the club this season.

“When I first came to Brisbane Strikers a couple of years ago the club’s emphasis on developing young players for senior football was evident and something that really excited me,” he explained.

“There is a real focus here on identifying players with potential and helping them improve their physicality, their skills and their mentality to make a success of their opportunities.”

“We’ve seen a number of players this year from the Under 20’s team get their first taste of senior football and it is something as a coach that I find very rewarding.”

One key factor in assisting the Under 20’s team, which comprises prospective first-team players as young as 17, is their integration into the club’s senior training.

“We train the two teams together as much as possible and focus on building a common approach to how we play our football,” Provan explained.

“At the start of the year the Under 20’s players really had to work hard to keep up with the pace and intensity of that but as the year has progressed we have seen them rise to that challenge and improve as a result.”

“That familiarity with the senior players – drawing on their experiences and their demands– really helps the younger boys understand what is required in senior football and it sets them up to make that step.”

Provan further stressed that the club takes a considerate approach to identifying the right time for precocious young talents to move into a senior match day squad – including assessing and developing their physical and mental maturity.

“Every player is different and they need to be introduced to the match experience at senior level in different ways to ensure they have the best chance of succeeding,” he explained.

“Sometimes there is a necessity, through injuries for example, for players to make the step up a bit ahead of schedule, but our planning across the club ensures they are not just thrown into the deep-end.”

“We have seen this year that a few players found themselves in that situation and they had the tools to really make the most of that opportunity.”

However, Provan, who prior to coaching played in the former New South Wales Premier League with APIA Leichardt and Blacktown City, said the inevitable outside comparisons between clubs can often be counter-productive in terms of youth development philosophies.

“Different clubs do things in different ways to suit their circumstances and I think that is not necessarily a bad thing,” he said.

“But what I do know is at Brisbane Strikers we are strongly focused on talent identification and development throughout our Academy and into the senior team. I feel the club has delivered on that in the past, are delivering on that now and will continue to deliver on that in the future.”


National Premier Leagues Queensland
Round 23

Brisbane City v Brisbane Strikers
Saturday, July 13 @ 6:30PM
CTM Stadium, Newmarket

Admission: Family $10, Adult $5, Child $2


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