Young Aussies Feature – Newcastle Young Jets

Who’s coming up through the ranks at Newcastle Jets

Newcastle Jets have long been believers in bringing on their home grown talent and letting them make their way through the youth system. Several current young players have already made their debuts and are on the fringes of the first team squad, waiting to be given their chance and make themselves a permanent fixture on the team sheet.

One such player is the product of the famous NSW institute of sport, Ben Kantarovski, who is the youngest player ever to be signed by a Hyundai A-League club. At the tender age of 15, he signed for the Jets two seasons ago and is fast becoming a home grown favourite amongst the Newcastle faithful.

At home in defence or midfield, his versatility is a huge asset and is set to make his future career even more interesting as he finds his best position in the team. His vision and strength should see him continue to improve and he-s a good candidate for becoming a possible future Socceroo.

James Virgili is another promising young player that is knocking on the door of the first team this season. In making his debut in January 2009 against Wellington Phoenix, he became the youngest player in A-League history to take to the field at 16 years and 180 days.

Glasgow Celtic have been keeping tabs on the player-s progression following impressive performances at the FIFA U-20 World Cup last year in Egypt.

Left back Mario Simic is another player who was on the edges of the first team squad last year but didn-t quite break into the team. His coaching staff feel that he-s likely to become the first of this year-s young players to make it into the first team setup and he regularly trains with the seniors.

Spearheading the National Youth League side-s attack is the impressively framed Gavin Forbes. His physical strength and ability to hold up the ball means that he always gives the side something different and he-s known for never shirking a challenge.

Having been noticed playing for Central Coast last year in the National Youth League, he-s equally as good in the air as he is on the deck and his powerful shot has been known to sting the hands of many a goalkeeper.

This season-s youth captain Jesse Pinto was another player on the verge of being in the first team last season, after injuries left them very thin on the ground. Impressive performances this term have again put the speedy midfielder at the forefront of the players knocking on the first team-s door.

In between the sticks is one of Australia-s best young ‘keepers in the form of Robert Kolac. Standing at almost 2metres tall, he has the perfect attributes of a top goalkeeper and is tipped by his keeping coaches to make an impact when given the chance.

Signing and playing players at such a young age is proof that Newcastle have faith in the old adage “If he-s good enough, he-s old enough.”

This season we-ll definitely see a couple more come through the ranks aside from the ones already in the squad and it-s set to be a very important few months ahead for several of the young players on the verge of becoming first team players.