Sydney FC take selection gamble with Payne

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With an abundance of players injured and suspended, Sydney FC coach John Kosmina will turn to the youngster to lead his side's attack in what shapes as the ultimate acid test for a first-gamer.

Speaking to The Herald Sun, Kosmina said, "He's the only striker in the squad (who's available). He's a good kid, good player and I've got a lot of time for him.

"He'll get time off this week from (mid-year exams) so it's not a bad week."

Sydney's rivalry with Melbourne is the most fiercely contested in the A-League and it will be interesting to see how the former Manly United player handles so much pressure.

Payne has already become the youngest Sydney player to score in a full competitive match when he netted in the 2-1 Pre-Season Cup victory of Queensland and that experience should hold him in good stead when the real stuff begins this weekend.

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