Young Sydney FC defender Anthony Golec is looking to become a vital cog in the club's defensive machine. Following the retirement of veteran Tony Popovic, Golec is being touted as a replacement for the former Socceroo.
Coach John Kosmina will be calling on inexperienced defenders to lead the way for the remainder of the season and hopes to fast track these youngsters for future use.
Golec, who returned to the youth squad on the weekend, is excited about the opportunity in front of him.
"It's good to be back with the youth guys, it's just the first team has a bit more experience. But its fine coming back, the boys are playing good football," he said.
"With the first team my role is more defensive, with the youth more attacking, so I've got to know when to run at them, when to stay. But I scored six goals at [Sydney] United last year, so if I get the chance to attack, I'll take it."
Popovic was an important figure in Golec's development so it was a shock to the system when he announced his retirement.
"I called him and he spoke to me and told me," Golec explained. "It was a bit upsetting because he's my mentor; I looked up to him when I was younger," the 18-year old added.
"They've signed me and a few others boys for the back positions next year so I've got to get myself ready. He's going to help me out and hopefully brush off some experience to me and I'll be able to use it in the games."