He may have only turned 20 last week, but Evan Berger is a great example of the Melbourne Victory’s interest in younger players.
After two years with New South Wales’ Marconi Stallions, Berger has signed for the next two years with the Victory. He’s a promising young midfielder who played for the Australia Under 20s in India last year, as part of the World Cup qualifiers. His talent was also noted by the Australian Institute of Sport, who granted him a scholarship.
And now, he’s training alongside experienced players such Kevin Muscat, Archie Thompson and other young players his age.
Granted, he isn’t likely to get a whole lot of game time this year. In the proverbial pecking order of Melbourne’s midfield, Berger is down the bottom.
But he’s a compelling example to show why Australia desperately needs a youth or reserves league to coincide with the A-League. Without an extra league providing valuable game time for players struggling to make the cut for the first 11, how will they be able to develop as players? Simply training with the team isn’t enough – competitive game time is needed.
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