Velaphi grabs chance in goal

Outstanding young Perth goalkeeper Tando Velaphi will start in goal for Glory next week against Sydney FC after keeping two clean sheets and producing an outstanding leader’s role for the club’s youth team.

Outstanding young Perth goalkeeper Tando Velaphi will start in goal for Glory next week against Sydney FC after keeping two clean sheets and producing an outstanding leader-s role for the club-s youth team.

Velaphi, who is Glory-s Youth Team Captain, has worked hard throughout the season and coach Dave Mitchell believes the match time spent with the youth team has been the prefect preparation to make an immediate impact at Hyundai A-League level.

“Tando-s going to start the next game,” Mitchell said when asked who would take on the goal keeping duties against Sydney on Sunday October 19.

“He-s been patient in waiting for his time. He-s the future of the club and he-s a good keeper,” Mitchell added.

The 21 year old has a wealth of experience after helping the Olyroos gain qualification for the Beijing Olympics and was part of the U23-s squad who went to China.

After playing eight games last season, his debut in the Hyundai A-League, he has been patiently working to improve his game and believes his youth team experience is the perfect example of a system working to give players greater opportunities.

“I haven-t played a lot of games in the last 12 months so it is nice to be playing week in and week out and try and get some consistency,” said Velahpi.

“It is great to have that match practice and I think it put me in good stead to break back into the first team,” he added.

While Velaphi will have to hand over captain-s armband when the Youth side make their first appearance at home, he will be watching with plenty of interest and believes the youngsters can be a force in the competition.

“They-re very talented, the coach has them in order and well disciplined. The boys are very eager, good players, and it-s great to be part of the group. I think they-ll be able to have some success,” Velaphi said.

“Winning away isn-t easy but we-ve shown we can do that and I know everyone can-t wait to play at home. I think we-ll get better and better as we play more games together and you-ll see even more exciting things to come.”

While Velaphi will be given his chance against Sydney Mitchell will make decisions on others as the season progresses and they gain more experience and consistency.

"There are always a couple of players that you want to bring through and I-ll definitely look to do that when they-re ready,” Mitchell said.

“We have some terrific young talent at the club and if they keep producing consistently then they-ll get their chance and I look forward to seeing them in action for both the Youth Team and potentially the first team throughout the season,” said Mitchell.