Perth’s prospering production line

Perth Glory champions Gareth Naven and Scott Miller elevated the club to the pinnacle of football during their time on the pitch, now the famed combination are preparing future West Australian stars to do the same.

Perth Glory champions Gareth Naven and Scott Miller elevated the club to the pinnacle of football during their time on the pitch, now the famed combination are preparing future West Australian stars to do the same.

Naven and Miller joined forces to steer the Perth Glory Youth Team in its inaugural season and this weekend they will see their fourth player elevated to the senior side.

Dean Evans is the latest talented youngster to be given his opportunity in the big time and will join the likes of Anthony Skorich, Andrija Jukic and Scott Neville to have taken the next step in their fledgling careers.

Naven is quick to give praise to the long line of development from which these players have come but is justifiably proud that the National Youth League concept is delivering on its promise to prepare the next generation of Australian footballers.

“It is fantastic that the boys are getting their start in the A-League team and it is important that they keep progressing,” Naven said.

“This is just the beginning of something new for these guys and now they have other things to achieve like gaining regular spots in the senior side.

“Hopefully it is going to be a successful production line and we can-t underestimate what we have in our own back yard,” said Naven.

The next challenge that Naven, Miller and the Glory youth side face is a tough Queensland outfit on Saturday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium.

The Roar currently occupy one of the two coveted spots at the pointy end of the National Youth League ladder while Perth sit six points back in fourth. With just four rounds remaining a win this weekend is significant in the Glory-s hopes of a finals berth.

“We were comprehensively beaten last time and I-m sure that still hurts the boys and we-ll be looking resurrect ourselves against a quality opponent.”

Results aside there will always be something to which Naven and his young players can aspire.

“Everyone can see that if they work hard and give a good consistent account of themselves then the opportunities to progress to the top level are there. The guys who have already done that have set a great example and their good fortune gives others the chance to come into the youth team and the process starts again.

“It really is a privilege to go to the first team and I think it-s great to see that the pathway is there and I look forward to seeing more of our talented young local players taking that step,” said Naven.

Queensland Roar v Perth Glory Saturday 24 January at Suncorp Stadium Kick off 3.15pm AWDT

Referee: Alan Milliner

Perth Glory squad: Ludovic BOI, Jack CLISBY, Cameron EDWARDS, Howard FONDYKE, Lewis HALL, Liam HARVEY, Steven HESKETH, Adam LUCA, Alex PEARSON (gk), Ryan PEARSON, Josh RISDON, James SAMMUT, Reece VITTIGLIA *One to be included

Unavailable: Brent GRIFFITHS (groin - season), Dejan ALEKSIC (wrist - 1 week), Dean EVANS (promoted to Hyundai A-League), Andrija JUKIC (promoted to Hyundai A-League), Scott NEVILLE (promoted to Hyundai A-League), Anthony SKORICH (promoted to Hyundai A-League)

Queensland Roar squad: Matthew ACTON (gk), Michael RYAN, Matthew MUNDY, Bradley McDONALD, William TUMUSIIME, Adam SAROTA, Michael ANGUS, Jordan MASON, Jordan FARINA, Luke BRATTAN, David, DODD (OA), Chris GROSSMAN, Matthew THURTELL, Daniel BOWLES, Tyler THURTELL, Mitchell BEVAN, Josh McVEY *Two to be omitted

Unavailable: Luke MUIR (long-term injured)