As one of the youngest midfielders in the Melbourne Victory squad, Cameron McGilp is looking to those around him to learn.
In Carl Valeri and Mark Milligan, McGilp has two of the best mentors he could hope for as he starts his Victory career.
“Carl has been really helpful to me ever since I first came in for my first session,” McGilp explained.
“He pulled me aside and helped me out with a few things, and Millsy has been helping me out as well since he came back.
“They’re the two guys that I look up to to learn from.
“Being one of the younger boys, (the squad) obviously give it to you a bit but it’s all in good fun and they’re all great blokes.”
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The lessons learned from the likes of Valeri, Milligan and company held McGilp in good stead during his pre-season appearances against NPL outfits.
“Playing with the more experienced boys, they really helped me get through those games and towards the end we were able to get over the top of them.
“You know you have to play quick because they’re men with bigger bodies, so if they get near you they’re probably going to knock you off the ball.”
Victory’s new number 15 is another product of the club’s youth system. Before graduating to the senior setup, McGilp had worked through the junior levels.
“I joined the youth team a couple of years ago out of the NTC,” McGilp said.
“I came through the state teams and then I was with the state teams for the last couple of years.
“I played seniors for the first time this time in 2016 in the NPL senior team, and then started training with the first team a little bit.”
McGilp made his A-League debut in March 2017 against Brisbane, making a cameo appearance off the bench at Suncorp Stadium.
The 19-year-old has been training with the senior team almost ever since, and has the backing of Kevin Muscat.
“Speaking to the boss, he was telling me to work hard during the season,” McGilp explained.
“So I put my head down, worked as hard as I could and tried to do well when my opportunities came along.
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“A couple of weeks ago he pulled me aside and told me that I was getting offered something.”
As a central midfielder, McGilp’s confidence in his game stems from knowing his strengths.
“I’m more of a passer than a dribbler, I try to think quickly. I look to get other people involved and link up the play.”