The quality of Melbourne Victory's emerging talent was on show once again in Tuesday night's 6-0 win over Port Melbourne Sharks.
Victory head coach Kevin Muscat blooded more youth team players in the pre-season hit-out against the PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria team, with 18-year-old Callum Goulding starting in the centre of defence and teenagers Anthony Duzel and James Xydias playing a part in the second half.
Sixteen-year-old Christian Theoharous made his second appearance of the pre-season, scoring Victory's sixth goal in the 86th minute.
It followed impressive pre-season cameos by fellow youngsters Sebastian Pasquali and Josh Hope.
"Every time we've asked them to come in, they've certainly not let us down," Muscat said.
"(The game against Port Melbourne) was another opportunity to have a look at the younger players that have come through the youth system.
"You can certainly see they’ve been in our system. It does help when they get an opportunity with the first team that they understand how we want to play and what we're trying to do.
"Physically it's a big ask for them, but it's just to whet their appetite and make them understand what it takes to play in the first team.
Victory defender Jason Geria, who himself experienced the jump from the youth ranks to the senior side, has been impressed with how the club's young players have adapted so far this pre-season.
"It's always a step up going from the youth team to the first team, and it takes a little while to adjust," he said.
"I think those boys are settling in well. They were lucky enough to have the Juventus and Atletico games to take in that big sort of atmosphere.
"They're only going to keep learning and keep getting better. When they have been given opportunities they've played very well and I think there's going to be a lot more to come from those boys."
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