Western United has continued its growing connection with football in Tasmania by welcoming five players to its academy training sessions last week.
The players, all of whom came across from South Hobart FC, joined up with Western United Academy Director Anthony Frost and the extended NPL 3 Under 21’s squad for training at City Vista Recreation Reserve in Fraser Rise.
After playing its first home matches in Tasmania in the 2020/21 season, this strengthens the relationship that Western United is forming with Football Tasmania ahead of the Club’s second trip across the Bass Strait in April.
Frost said the Tasmanian contingent have left their mark on the group with their work ethic and the way they have carried themselves.
“First and foremost, we’ve been impressed by the players’ attitude and application throughout their time with us,” he said.
“It’s testament to their character and the environment they’ve been exposed to that they can slot into our culture and meet our standards.”
The players – Sam Berezanski, Jacob Lancaster, Joshua Divin, Michael Hurd and Alex Brown – are all 17 or 18 years of age, except for Brown who is just 16 years old.
With the NPL season drawing ever closer, Frost and his staff are continuing to narrow down the squad for the Under 23’s and Under 21’s sides.
The Club has established a strong presence in identifying talent in the West – a key objective of the academy structure from the outset – and is now seeking to grow opportunities for talented products in Tasmania.
Western United committed to adding Tasmanian talent to Academy teams
Frost hinted at a number of possibilities that could come about for both players and coaches as connections continue to be built as the Club seeks to become “the destination for up and coming Tassie talent”.
“It’s clear that there is a good group of young players with the potential to play at a high level and the Club has identified that a close relationship can only be beneficial in the long run,” he said.
“We are looking at exploring how we can establish some strong connections, not only through the development of players, but the development of coaches also. We’d hope this relationship also allows us to look at playing pre-season games in Tasmania in the future, too.”
As well as this opportunity with South Hobart FC players, further work is being done to identify top talent from across the state into the Western United way throughout 2022.
With an A-League Women side on the horizon, Western United is equally eager to explore opportunities to provide an elite pathway for female players in Tasmania to join the Green and Black.