Melbourne City visits country


MELBOURNE City youth coach Joe Palatsides will be on hand at Latrobe City Sports Stadium tomorrow night to cast his eyes over the best junior talent in Gippsland for potential recruitment to the A-League franchise.

Trials last Tuesday and tonight will determine the make-up of a Gippsland youth squad to take the field against Dandenong Thunder’s youth team for a practice match and selection trial for City.

The occasion will mark the second consecutive year City has conducted trials in the Valley, with three players last year going deep into the club’s selection process.

Gippsland zone development officer Mark Cassar said the club’s ongoing presence in the region was an endorsement for the talent on hand, and a leg up to future professional ventures such as the National Premier League.

“If we can sustain it and grow it we’ll get more in the future; everything that we’re trying to establish with emerging talent programs and that sort of thing, to lead into this area, (is) to try and help the transition from community level football to the more talented pathway,” Cassar said.

“It will be an opportunity for our kids to display hopefully all the good things in football in Gippsland.”

About 45 hopefuls aged 16 to 19 years attended the Gippsland trials.