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tribalfootball's young Aussies to watch

tribalfootball has identified the young Australian players to watch for the future based on their 2008/09 seasons. The following players have the talent and potential to become important players for Australian football in the future whether it be for the national team, in the A-League or playing in leagues based in Europe or elsewhere around the world.

Tahj Minniecon

20-year old Tahj Minniecon is one of the brightest stars in Australian football at the minute.

He can play in a variety of positions including as an out-and-out striker, on the wing or in central midfield and his speed and skill around the area often cause problems for opposition defenders.

Minniecon enjoyed a consistent season with the Queensland Roar after establishing himself in the 2007/08 season.

He was an important player for coach Frank Farina in 08/09 but unfortunately was injured for the Roar's failed finals campaign.

Minniecon signed with new A-League franchise Gold Coast United in early January and will be sure to make his presence felt with his new club.

Mitch Nichols

Still only 19, Nichols has the football world at his feet.

The Queensland native represented his country for the first time at senior level earlier this month when the Socceroos lost to Kuwait in Canberra but the fact he is even being considered at his age is testament to his ability and commitment.

The attacking midfielder impressed when playing for the U19 Socceroos in the Asian Championships in Saudi Arabia late last year and came of age playing for the Queensland Roar in the A-League.

He scored five goals in 12 appearances for the Roar, combining power, strength and pace in the process.

Recently, Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek said Nichols was extremely impressive but needed to work on his finishing which is something that will surely come with experience.

Kofi Danning

The Ghanaian-born Danning impressed greatly for Sydney FC when given an opportunity in the first team towards the end of the season.

He scored in just his second senior appearance and ended up with two goals from four appearances.

Danning was one of the standouts of the inaugural National Youth League, scoring four goals and was a key member of the Sky Blues side who took out the title in 2008/09. Raised in Canberra, the 18-year old is an Australian citizen who is a product of the Australian Institute of Sport.

Scott Jamieson

What a season the former Bolton Wanderer had.

20-year old Jamieson was in almost every team of the year named for his season playing at left-back for Adelaide United.

The Reds enjoyed a superb season in which they made both the Asian Champions League and A-League grand finals and a lot of it has to do with the impact Jamieson made.

He too won his first cap at senior level for the Socceroos and also appeared 37 times for Adelaide in all competitions.

With his pace down the left side and his endless attacking runs, it won't be long until bigger clubs from overseas are knocking on his door.

Was awarded Adelaide United's Rising Star award this season.

Daniel Mullen

Formed a fantastic partnership with Jamieson on the right-side of defence making plenty of attacking runs for Adelaide United.

The 19-year old came of age when playing in the Asian Champions League against some of the best teams in Asia and it began to rub off on to his A-League form.

He became one of the first picked by Reds coach Aurelio Vidmar but missed a big chunk of the end of the season.

Represented Australia at senior level for the first time earlier this month.

Sebastian Ryall

The Sydney-born defender enjoyed a breakout season with the championship-winning Melbourne Victory.

Became an integral part of the Victory make-up and performed superbly in the successful finals campaign.

At 19, Ryall has a huge future in front of him and could turn into a fantastic central defender but he is versatile in that he can be used elsewhere on the pitch.

Is an Australian U20 (current captain) and U23 representative and will return home for the 2009/10 season after signing with Sydney FC.

Tando Velaphi

The 21-year old Perth Glory goalkeeper has a bright future.

Has already been trusted with the number one position at the Glory and started in more than half their matches this season.

Velaphi is of Zimbabwean and Japanese heritage and represented Australia at U20 and U23 level and recently signed a contract that will see him remain with the Glory until the 2010/2011 season.

Ben Kantarovski

Probably the brightest of this lot mainly due to the fact that he is only 17.

Signed a four-year contract with the Newcastle Jets at the ripe old age of 15 and also became the youngest ever player to debut in the A-League at 16 years and 208 days.

The central midfielder took every challenge before him and was awarded with the Jets Player of the Year and Rising Star.

If that achievement is anything to go by, then this young lad is in for an enormous career.

Andrew Slevison
About the author

Andrew Slevison

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