Melbourne City youngster Jordan Bos reaping the rewards of academy system

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For Melbourne City, the 2021/22 A-League Men’s season saw the debut and meteoric rise of City Football Academy product Jordan Bos into the first team.

The young left-back was signed to Melbourne City’s academy at the age of 14, coincidentally by his now head coach Patrick Kisnorbo, after he discovered him playing for the Victorian state team in the National Youth Championships.

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“He is the one that signed me straight from the state team. He came to my house, and I signed some papers when I was 14 and now he is my coach, it’s funny how things work out,” Bos said.

This path to becoming a professional footballer is more common in Europe than here in Australia, where young children in Europe can often be signed to professional clubs as young as eight. This allows the young athletes to develop their skills with a team of professional coaches whilst also maintaining their love for the game at a young age.

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This is the same with the A-Leagues academies. These academies can mould young kids into the perfect footballers that fit their system to potentially either have them play in the first team or sell them for a profit to clubs around the world.

“All through the youth system, all the teams try to follow how the A-League plays, such as their rules and style of play so it’s a lot easier for those boys that have been through the youth system to get a call up to the A-League,” Bos said.

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A benefit of these European-styled academies is that the kids that are signed are not required to pay any registration fees compared to if they were playing at a local club. Therefore, making the game more accessible to those from a lower socio-economic background.

In Australia however, these academies are only something that have been developed recently. Previously, young kids who dreamt of playing professional football in this country were forced to go through the National Premier Leagues (NPL) system.

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For various reasons the registration fees for youth players remains exorbitant, some registration fees can be as much as $2,500 on average. Comparatively, elite junior programs in other sports around Australia remain cheaper than those of football.

Being aligned to an academy seems to be the more beneficial pathway.

“You’re in a more professional environment with better-qualified coaches. So, I think that would benefit the players a lot more. Along with not having to pay as much as you would with grassroots and local clubs,” Bos said

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Ultimately for football in Australia to thrive, there needs to be more Jordan Bos’ and Garang Kuols who have benefited through participating in A-League academies. Because, for the next Harry Kewell to be discovered, kids need to be given every chance for them to succeed.

Feature Image Credit: Melbourne City FC

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Caydn Foley
Football Fanatic. Journalism student hoping to make this a career. Covering Melbourne City for the 22/23 A-Leagues season.

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