Melbourne City have parted ways with coach Warren Joyce and will continue their long battle to realise their A-League ambitions without the Englishman, after declining to extend his two-year stint as senior coach.
This is the first edition of a rankings list of all A-League players under 21. This also contains stats from Round 6 games.
Without further ado, lets get into it.
1. Daniel De Silva
Midfielder (Sydney FC on loan from Central Coast Mariners) DOB: 6/3/97
The Perth boy has been able to get 54 minutes of game time over three matches in November including 60 minutes of game time In a Y-League match against the Wanderers.
He is clinging on to that first place spot and will lose it if he can’t find regular starts, he won’t be at this number for much longer.
2. Riley McGree
Midfielder (Melbourne City on loan from Club Brugge) DOB: 2/11/98
The scorpion king, as we know him, has played 346 minutes in four matches, including a goal against the club he scored his famous goal for, the Newcastle Jets.
Very unlucky not to be given the first place ribbon, and another month like this and he will have it in the bag.
3. Trent Buhagiar
Attacker (Sydney FC) DOB: 27/2/98
Unfortunately, Buhagiar did his ACL after a ripper pre-season. He did not get any game-time and if it wasn’t for his injury, I could assure you he would be second, maybe even first.
4. Aidan O’Neill
Midfielder (Central Coast Mariners on loan from Burnley) DOB: 4/7/98
The Brisbane boy has played the full 90 minutes in all of the past four games, including a ripper goal against the Perth Glory.
O’Neill is looking like a standout for the Mariners, in a poor season for the Gosford side.
5. Jacob Italiano
Forward (Perth Glory) DOB: 30/7/01
I believe that Italiano has been underestimated as he hasn’t earned a minute for the Glory this year in the A-League or Y-League.
He may be injured, so that has possibly played a part. He is a talented player and as a Glory fan, I am frustrated that he isn’t playing.
6. Nathaniel Atkinson
Defender (Melbourne City) DOB: 13/6/99
Atkinson has played 141 minutes this month, in more of an attacking role, rather than his natural Right-Back position.
He is very close to losing his sixth position due to this playing time.
7. Jordan O’Doherty
Attacker (Western Sydney Wanderers) DOB: 14/10/97
The Spanish-born winger has been playing more of a midfield role for Markus Babbel and has 292 minutes, plus a goal.
O’Doherty is looking like a great signing for the Wanderers and I expect him to be higher up this list very soon.
8. Lachlan Wales
Attacker (Melbourne City) DOB: 19/10/97
Wales has 269 minutes to his name, while banking a goal and an assist.
He is becoming a regular for Warren Joyce and is outplaying Bruno Fornaroli at the moment. Moving up the list.
9. Apostolos Stamatelopoulous
Attacker (Adelaide United) DOB: 9/4/99
The man with the name I can’t pronounce properly, has recently earned a senior contract and has banked 180 minutes over 4 games, including a goal and an assist.
He is without a doubt on the rise and could be higher by December.
10. Joseph Champness
Attacker (Newcastle Jets) DOB: 27/4/97
Joey Champness was looking like a player to watch out for last year until he unfortunately fractured his foot, and consequently will be out for a little longer.
On the slide for me and at risk of falling out of the 10.
Ones to watch
11. Keanu Baccus: Midfielder (Western Sydney Wanderers) DOB: 7/6/98
12. Connor O’Toole: Defender (Brisbane Roar) DOB: 4/7/97
13. Johnny Koutroumbis: Defender (Newcastle Jets) DOB: 6/3/98
14. Brandon Wilson: Midfielder (Perth Glory) DOB: 28/10/97
15. Jake Brimmer: Midfielder (Perth Glory) DOB: 3/4/98
There may not be much information for these players but it is just a base for a monthly series of this.
One of the most important things that I look for here is the game time they get which makes it hard for injured players like Buhagiar stay in the order.
Look out for the December edition next month.