Next Gen Tracker: Canberra star holds the lead but a dominant City teenager storms into contention

Watch the latest episode of Dub Zone as the panel adjudge the latest Next Gen Tracker standings!

The third batch of votes are in for the Liberty Next Gen Tracker, keeping tabs on the ones to watch aged 21 or under!

The award is voted on every month by the Dub Zone panel in the Liberty A-League, with five players aged under 21 at the start of the season earning votes for their performance, with five given to the top-voted rising star, down to one vote for the fifth-ranked player, thanks to Liberty.

Melbourne City winger Holly McNamara led the charge through the opening month of the season before Canberra United star Vesna Milivojevic roared into the lead. Milivojevic still sits atop the charts for total votes – but another young midfielder took control in the most recent monthly polling.

Watch above as the Dub Zone panel hosted by Grace Gill, and featuring Teresa Polias, Teo Pellizzeri and Melbourne City captain Rebekah Stott, unpack the five selections from the Liberty A-League for this month.

Liberty Next Gen Tracker – monthly votes

1 vote: Shay Hollman (Sydney FC)

Shay Hollman, 18, is enjoying more responsibility this season as a consistent starter in a Sydney FC side growing into the 2023-24 campaign after a challenging start hampered by injuries, fixture postponements and continental commitments at the AFC Women’s Club Championship.

Hollman is hard in the tackle and brings composure to the Sky Blues midfield beyond her years, and earned one vote for her dependable service to Sydney FC in the latest batch of Next Gen Tracker polling.

Shay Hollman.

2 votes: Sasha Grove (Canberra United)

Sasha Grove is thriving as a consistent starter at Canberra United having switched from midfield to right-back in mid-2022.

Canberra have conceded plenty of goals this season but the 19-year-old will benefit from the task at hand as she hones her craft.

Grove has made 12 appearances this season, notching one assist in a 1-1 draw with Western United in late 2023.

Sasha Grove.

3 votes: Lara Gooch (Newcastle Jets)

A revelation at Newcastle Jets this season, 18-year-old speedster Lara Gooch is flying onto the radar of Australian football fans across the country.

Gooch has two goals and an assist from six appearances this season – five as a sub – and caught the eye in early January with a phenomenal solo run and finish in a 3-3 draw against Canberra United.

4 votes: Peta Trimis (Central Coast Mariners)

Central Coast Mariners have been so impressed with the form of 17-year-old forward Peta Trimis, that the club recently upgraded her scholarship deal to a full Liberty A-League contract.

The Young Matilda debuted in Round 1 against Newcastle and has since become a regular in the Mariners squad, scoring her first league goal in Round 9 before a match-winner bagged against Wellington Phoenix in mid-January.

5 votes: Daniela Galic (Melbourne City)

Melbourne City midfielder Daniela Galic is making waves in the 2023-24 Liberty A-League season, with her scintillating solo form contributing to her side’s push for the Premiers Plate.

Galic has five goals and four assists in 13 appearances so far this season, including a remarkable display against Adelaide in early January in which the 17-year-old bagged a hat-trick and an assist in a 5-0 win.

Liberty Next Gen Tracker – total votes

Galic’s five-vote haul in the third batch of polling saw the young City star leap into second spot in the Liberty Next Gen Tracker standings.

Milivojevic didn’t poll in the latest round of votes, but still leads the way on nine for the season, with Galic close behind on seven.

Holly McNamara sits third on five votes despite not playing since her ACL tear in November; Peta Trimis shot into the top five, level on four points with Western Sydney’s Cushla Rue.