Melbourne Victory Youth finalises new squad

Melbourne Victory Youth has finalised its squad for the upcoming National Youth League 2009/10 season, signing 13 promising Victorian talents in addition to Football Superstar winner Luke Pilkington.

Melbourne Victory Youth has finalised its squad for the upcoming National Youth League 2009/10 season, signing 13 promising Victorian talents in addition to Football Superstar winner Luke Pilkington.

Aziz Behich, Stephen Hatzikostas, Antonio La Verde, Sebastian Mattei, Craig Sweeney and Tedros Yabio have been retained from the Melbourne Victory Youth side that finished the inaugural NYL season on a high, winning five of its last seven matches.

There are eight new additions with Pilkington, Matthew Demo, Diogo Ferreira, Petar Franjic, Bradley Norton, Stefaan Sardelic, Kliment Taseski and Simon Tolli joining the squad, which has a bye in Round 1 and will play its first match against Adelaide United Youth at Hindmarsh Stadium on September 18.

Melbourne Victory Youth Coach Mehmet Durakovic said while the team is again one of the youngest in the NYL, it will be competitive and look to improve on last season's results.

"We've kept a number of players from last season and added some fresh faces, which has provided us with a good mix of youth and experience," Durakovic said.

"It's a very young side, but we believe we've picked the right characters for Melbourne Victory and we expect these players to develop throughout the season.

"Already we've seen three players in Mathew Theodore, Matthew Foschini and Mate Dugandzic graduate to the senior side, which highlights the pathway available for the players currently in the squad."

The addition of Gold Coast United Youth and a team from the Australian Institute of Sport has seen the NYL grow to 27 rounds this season, ending in a four-team Finals Series that coincides with the last two weeks of the Hyundai A-League Finals Series.

Melbourne Victory Youth will play its home matches at Bulleen's Veneto Club and Epping Soccer Stadium on Saturdays and Sundays at family-friendly times.

Following away games against Adelaide and Gold Coast United Youth, Melbourne Victory Youth will host its first home fixture against Brisbane Roar Youth at Veneto Club on Saturday, October 4 (kick off 2pm).

Goalkeepers

Sebastian MATTEI, 10/02/1991, Heidelberg Stefaan SARDELIC, 9/04/1989, South Melbourne

Defenders

Diogo FERREIRA, 5/10/1989, Green Gully Petar FRANJIC, 7/04/1992, Melbourne Knights Bradley NORTON, 11/01/1991, Melbourne Knights Luke PILKINGTON, 12/07/1990, ANU FC

Midfielders

Aziz BEHICH, 16/12/1990, Green Gully Stephen HATZIKOSTAS, 13/10/1991, Oakleigh Antonio LA VERDE, 19/01/1990, Whittlesea Craig SWEENEY, 26/07/1990, Fawkner Kliment TASESKI, 27/05/1991, Altona Simon TOLLI, 12/01/1991, Melbourne Knights

Strikers

Matthew DEMO, 15/08/1991, North Geelong Tedros YABIO, 14/12/1992, Western Suburbs

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