Melbourne City's Connor Metcalfe welcomes A-League's push to feature more young talent
Melbourne City youngster Connor Metcalfe has welcomed a push for more young players to feature heavily at A-League level.
Last week, FFA head of leagues Greg O'Rourke said the A-League would look at ways to encourage clubs to provide opportunities to young Australian talent.
Metcalfe, 19, has featured heavily in Melbourne City's preseason and FFA Cup run alongside fellow teenager Ramy Najjarine, and said he hoped to see the league look towards the future more than the past.
"Because you see in previous seasons, you get the overseas player, they [critics] say: 'Australia's a retiring league, players come here to retire,'" Metcalfe told AAP at Tuesday's A-League season launch.
"But I think we can change that and turn this league into a much more developing league and hopefully produce more Australian players overseas and also to have great careers and hopefully play for the Socceroos in the future."
A large percentage of recent Socceroos either started their careers in the A-League or have enjoyed stints in the competition -- something Metcalfe said was encouraging.
"Seeing half these players that have played in the Socceroos and watching them play in the A-League when I was 13, 14 and then playing against them now and talking to them, it's not as unimaginable as you think," he said.
"And you can actually believe that it is possible to get there."
Metcalfe and Najjarine have been among the more impressive youngsters this preseason, under new City boss Erick Mombaerts.
"The main one for me is just working hard and also showing that you belong there and standing out," Metcalfe said.
"Also having a say and having confidence in yourself -- a big thing is believing in yourself and not just shying away and being nervous.
"Me and Ramy, we've been really taking our chances and we've been given our opportunity."
Brisbane Roar's Aiden O'Neill echoed Metcalfe's thoughts, saying it was important for young players to be given a chance -- but also to make the most of those senior opportunities.
"The future is with the younger players and to get the chance, you never know how good a young player is until they get their chance," the 21-year-old told AAP.
"I've been given a chance at a young age, which I'm very grateful for, but you've got to take your opportunity when it comes. That's really good."