There are a lot of kids playing right now. A lot more than there was 15-20 years ago.
IMO the quality of kids I’m currently playing against now, compared to when I was playing when I was 16-17, is incomparable. They have unbeleivable skills set. The issue that I see up close, is that the kids don’t have a knowledge or understanding of team cohesion and tactical aspects.
An average team with great cohesion and able to play according to the game plan, against a team of superstars who only play for themselves… it’s a no contests. The average team wins every time. I see it all the time.
Anyway, I think the issue isn’t quality of youth coming through, it’s talent identification from A-League & National Premierleague clubs… then Junior Socceroo sides also.
The pathways are blurry for young talent. There are so many avenues you can go through. One poor decision and it’s all over, even as a 16-17 year old.
Unlike AFL, where there is one pathway (TAC Cup)… kids and their parents need to find a junior State club, then hope that the club will give their child opportunities. Then hope that an A-League club recruits them. If they miss out, they need to make a decision to go back the National Premier League, or do some trials in Europe.