Youngsters Eye First Team Experience

Jan 30, 2019 by

A contingent of Brisbane Strikers rising talents will get their chance to shine in the National Premier Leagues Queensland in 2019.

Coach Owen Baker’s extended squad for the upcoming season features a number of teenagers promoted from Strikers youth and junior teams.

These younger players will be heavily involved in first team preparations this season – regularly training with the senior squad and rotating through Under 18’s and Under 20’s matches to push their claims for first team football.

Baker explained the inclusion of the up-and-comers in the senior set-up is an important part of Brisbane Strikers’ commitment to providing genuine pathways to senior football for its junior prospects.

“It is important to give young players exposure to first team players and training. Being in and around a senior environment is important for their development,” Baker explained.

“In the pre-season we saw players get an opportunity and measure where they are at. They handled themselves well but they all know they need to work hard and keep improving to be prepared for their opportunities.”

Baker added, “Brisbane Strikers has a rich history and culture as a club and that has always been about developing young players and giving them the exposure at the right time and in the right way.”

“It has been that way since Clem Jones was with the club and the National Soccer League days and it is good that continues in a responsible way.”

Amongst the players pushing their case this year are attacker Tana Entrop, 17, and defender Aidan Bender, 16.

Entrop found the back of the net in the Strikers closing match of the Kappa Silver Boot tournament against Southside Eagles.

The versatile attacker said he feels at home as part of the Strikers set-up after learning his craft at the cub.

“This club basically brought me up. I’ve been here since Under 12’s and they are like a family to me,” Entrop explained.

“I know there are a lot things to work on to be a better player but a lot of it is about confidence and the coaches here give me that.”

“So I’m really looking forward to the season. I want to improve my game and also seek the experience of the older guys in the team where I can.”

Bender, who was recognised as Brisbane Strikers Under 16 Most Consistent Player in 2018, also knows what is required to take his game to the next level this season.

“I know it’s about working hard and giving one-hundred-and-ten percent in every training session to help the team to winnings ways.”

“I’m hoping to improve as a player and that means doing everything the coaches ask of me.”

Brisbane Strikers commence their National Premier Leagues Queensland season at Perry Park against Toowoomba’s South West Queensland Thunder on Saturday, February 2.

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