NEW Sydney FC National Youth League coach Steve Corica is convinced he has an exciting, talented team as he prepares to unleash the youngsters for the first time.
With an average age of just over 17 years and six months, the new look side heralds a fresh beginning for the Sky Blues youth system which will have extremely close ties with the club's champion A-League team and its coaching staff, adopting identical football philosophies as their senior counterparts.
Under the guidance of Corica and assistant Ian Crook, the Junior Sky Blues will kick-off their 21-game campaign on Sunday 19 September with an away fixture against Brisbane Roar at Spencer Park.
The 2010/11 season will see Sydney FC play four home games at the Sydney Football Stadium, two matches at Campbelltown Stadium, Marconi Stadium and for the first time WIN Stadium in Wollongong.
Corica's side will play their first preseason friendly at Macquarie University tomorrow against the AIS (2pm kick-off).
"The team we have put together is a very exciting one. They are all extremely talented young players," Corica said.
"We attended a lot of matches and did a lot of scouting and these boys impressed us.
"The Youth League competition is a tough league and with the travel and training the players not only get to show their talents on the pitch they will learn a lot about the rigours of being a professional football player.
"We haven't had much time together; in fact our first full session together was yesterday. A lot of players had commitments with their New South Wales Premier League side's right up to their Grand Final last weekend. We have been very conscious of that but as a group we are really looking forward to the season and personally, with it being my first coaching role, it is an exciting time.
"We play four home games as curtain raisers to the A-League team so that will be another great experience for the boys."
Sydney FC won the inaugural NYL title in 2008/09 with the likes of Kofi Danning, Rhyan Grant, Matt Jurman and Brendan Gan leading the way and all of which have gone onto play in the A-League.
"The Sydney FC academy and National Youth League teams are both extremely important to our club. The youth team will have very close ties with and will operate by the same beliefs and pillars that our A-League team adheres to," Sydney CEO Edwin Lugt said. "There will be a great synergy there."
"We have a clear focus on youth development at Sydney FC and the systems we have in place with Steve and his staff and Vitezslav and his coaches enable our players to get the best possible coaching and facilities available. It benefits our club, but most importantly the young players."