Wollongong Wolves Coach Jacob Timpano has announced the addition of seven players from the current U20s team to the First Grade Training Squad for the remainder of the NPL NSW Men’s season.
Wolves young up and comers Harrison Taranto, Tory Musumeci, Nikola Djordjevic, Brodie Clarkson, Jordan Nikolovski, James Carli and Mitchell Ferraro, all mainstays of the U20s team have been acknowledged and rewarded with upgrades due to their strong form and commitment throughout 2018.
“These boys are exactly the type of footballers and people we are building our club around for the future. “They have shown this year they have what it takes to make it to the next level and it’s an absolute credit to each of them.
“They have all thoroughly earned this recognition and being part of our First Grade set up for the remainder of our commitments this season will be a huge step in their development.”
Taranto, Musumeci, Djordjevic, Clarkson, Nikolovski, Carli and Ferraro will remain as crucial and influential players for the U20s, continuing to play the majority of their football with the squad but will now have a far greater exposure and involvement with Timpano, the Wolves Senior Leadership Group of Luke Wilkshire, Nick Montgomery, Chris Price and Justin Pasfield and experience much more regular training and development sessions with the first grade playing squad.
“Already this year Tory Musumeci and Jordan Nikolovski have made their first grade debuts. The others aren’t all that far off either.
“We are one of the very few clubs where our U20s and First Grade actually train together and have exposure to each other regularly and through this we are able to identify and nurture young players far more effectively than others.”
Nikolovski capped off a fine season to date, by scoring a crucial goal, on his run on first grade debut with the Wolves helping earn an important 2-1 win in last Sunday’s Round 15 match against Sutherland Sharks. He showed he was more than confident and capable to take full advantage of any opportunities presented.
The Wollongong Wolves U20s have been the surprise packet of the competition in 2017 with early in the season many predicting they would struggle following a poor 2017 campaign.
But with 7 wins and 2 draws already from their first 13 matches this year, the team is firmly entrenched in the top 5.
Timpano was confident of the ability of the squad well before the competition kicked off.
“I remember telling the boys early in our pre-season that as far as I was concerned they were a top 4 team and had the ability and potential to really give the competition a shake.
“As all teams, they experienced some disruptions and injuries early in the season but they have responded brilliantly and are playing quality football.
“You have to recognise and reward those who have earned it and justified it and that is exactly what we have done with this announcement. Congratulations to all the boys.”