Rise of Western United young gun summarised in fascinating John Aloisi press conference

Catch the highlights as Melbourne City took on Western United in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

Western United coach John Aloisi has sung the praises of young striker Noah Botic, believing his match-winning penalty against Melbourne City showcased his growth and maturity as a player since his arrival at the club.

Botic fired home the winner from the spot in the 88th minute, after City defender Nuno Reis handled Ramy Najjarine’s cross inside the area.

The 21-year-old striker showed no signs of hesitation or nerves, as he picked up the ball following the penalty decision, placed it on the spot and cooly slotted it past former teammate Jamie Young.

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“The first year he (Botic) was here, he played an NPL game and we had a penalty, and he didn’t take it,” Aloisi said.

“And I said to him, ‘Why didn’t you take that penalty?’, and he said ‘Someone else wanted it’. I said, ‘You’re a striker, you want to score goals, be that player to score those important goals’.

“That’s how much he’s matured and grown. He’s only 21 but he’s still matured in the sense that he believes he’s the one that can lead the line.

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“We’ve got players that can help him with that, but he showed good composure when he was fatigued right at the end of the game to win it.

“He didn’t have a lot of opportunities but he kept on believing that his moment would come. It did and he took it.”

Aloisi shrugged off any concerns about Botic potentially suffering a hamstring injury, after he pulled up lame following his goal celebration.

“I would’ve been upset – the way he ran off celebrating – if he ended up doing his hamstring,” he said, while laughing.

“It’s hard not to celebrate when you score the winning goal.”

The young striker burst onto the scene initially with the Joeys at the 2019 U-17 FIFA World Cup, scoring four goals in the tournament. It came just after The Guardian had him among 60 of the world’s best young talents in their yearly Next Generation list.

He was also offered a trial at Manchester United prior to his move to German side Hoffenheim.

Following a difficult spell, Botic joined Western in 2021, but it took until the 2022-23 season for him to truly show the A-Leagues what he was all about, scoring six goals in 21 games after finally earning consistent opportunities in the senior side.

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With Serbian striker Aleksandar Prijovic departing, he looks set to lead the charge up-front in Western’s 2023-24 A-Leagues season.

Western return to action next Saturday night, when they face Western Sydney Wanderers at CommBank Stadium.