Western United academy preparing for the future under Anthony Frost

Western United Academy

Western United has resumed training for its NPL Academy teams in recent weeks under the Club’s inaugural Academy Director, Anthony Frost.

Frost comes to United with years of experience in elite football settings under his belt, including at state and international level, and will bring all of that prior knowledge into the newly created role to shape the Club’s academy structure in the coming years.

Speaking on The Green Room @ FNR, Frost said he has enjoyed his welcome into the Club and is ready to get to work in developing the United’s youth system.

“It’s been great. Everyone’s been really welcoming, really friendly. It’s a change of scene but really exciting for me and looking forward to getting stuck into the role,” he said.

“It means I’ve got the opportunity to take the experiences I’ve had in different roles and different environments and try and take into consideration the context of the club, make sure there’s a really clear connection with the West.

“The selling point for me, bringing in players, bringing in coaching, support staff, is that they can be part of that journey and really shape things in the direction that we want to go.”

A large part of Frost’s all-encompassing role will include expanding the academy program beyond the two current teams – being the Under 23s and Under 21s sides.

He said that the intent for the Club would be to have four more teams in the program by 2023, beginning with Under 14s and working up through Under 15s, Under 16s and Under 18s sides to create a more tangible pathway for younger players to learn the Western United way.  

And with recruiting players from that young age, the importance of finding the best talents from the West remains and is something that Frost will commit to at the Club.

“For us, and for any club, we want to make sure we’re attracting the best talent possible, ideally that talent is from the West, so super important, and a big part of my role is to make sure we have a clear connection or a strong relationship with the clubs that are ultimately going to be providing players for us,” he said.

“I’ve had really good discussions with Steve Horvat about what best represents the West. What does a team from the West and Western United embody and how can we make sure the players that go through our academy are a representation of the West and what those values are.

“So, we want players that are aggressive players, players that are creative, we want players that are intelligent, we want to play a brand of football that’s proactive in all moments of the game.”

The goal of the academy program though is to see players developing as people as well as in a footballing sense, and to see them be carried through to the A-League Men side.

Frost concedes that, while losing his best players in the NPL 3 to John Aloisi’s senior squad will be difficult for his own season, it will become clear then that he is doing his job in filtering young players into the professional system.

The squad is currently being finalised ahead of the new season that will commence in the new year, and Frost will eager for the next crop of Western United A-League Men players to shine under him in 2022.

Listen to the full episode of The Green Room here, featuring Frost and United centre-back Ben Collins.