With the Foxtel National Youth League over, we talk to Trevor Morgan about his developmental techniques.
As coach of the Western Sydney Wanderer-s Foxtel National Youth League side, Trevor Morgan is well equipped to help shape and mold the future talent at the club.
Success is not measured by their place on the NYL ladder but how each player can improve and develop their game as highlighted by the selection of five Wanderers players in the Young Socceroos.
It is an important blueprint for success that involves enormous involvement from the entire Wanderers coaching staff from Tony Popovic, Ante Milicic and veteran goalkeeping coach Ron Corry. The same intensity, mentality, and key words are used on and off the pitch to assist in making a smooth transition when and if they are called into the senior squad.
Once talent is identified, Morgan explains the coaching ethos then begins on programming the four main pillars for football into his players. The key attributes (tactical, technical, mental and physical) is his “spider web” to growth and what players need to have in their kitbag to succeed.
There are endless challenges facing coaches in this league as players cope with the new priorities and commitments required to take their game to the next level. Study, travel, heightened expectations and the realisation that some are no longer the big fish in the small pond can all weigh on young players mind.
The competition is a pathway for young talent to develop in a pressure-cooker environment within a professional Hyundai A-League outfit. With many already tasting senior football experience this year the proof is certainly in the pudding.
“I always notice a change in players when they return from a stint training with the senior Wanderers squad,” said Morgan.
“There is a look of intense concentration in their eyes but never any cockiness or increase in bravado.
“When they train with the likes of Shinji Ono, Matthew Spiranovic, Youssouf Hersi and Aaron Mooy they see how hard these players continue to work in every session despite their success and this ethic seems to rub off immediately
“Shinji Ono has been a wonderful player to have at the Wanderers not only for the senior squad but for the young players who experience the high standards of professionalism he lives by. He-s a player that always sees areas of improvement in his game despite his standing in the game.”
It is often said that leaders aren-t born but made and Morgan has seen a number of players step up in that department this season.
“Exposure to the senior team and Young Socceroos squad for some has certainly encouraged players to lead and communicate more effectively in the team environment.”
As the NYL season has come to a close players now return to their National Premier League clubs and continue with their development. Morgan agrees the NYL competition has been a tremendous success to date but would love to see it mirror the Hyundai A-League-s current 27 round format to have more time together as a squad.
He has some very wise advice for young players keen to take their football to the next level.
• Never get ahead of yourself • Maintain your self-belief • No half measures • Have a plan B • Be a good person
After interviewing many of Morgan-s young squad this season, the common value is the enormous respect they share for the Wanderers family and the coaching staff.
Morgan, like many coaches, finds it difficult to switch off from the sport that is more a passion than an occupation. However family time is at the top of the priority list when the round ball comes to a halt on the pitch.
“We love spending time at the beach but the football mind is difficult one to close down and I have enormous drive and energy to better the game.”
“Observing Tony Popovic and his commitment to the entire extended playing group at the Wanderers continues to motivate me to perform better as a coach every day to get the very best out of my players.”
Image Credit: Quarrie Sports Photography