Sydney FC's Academy will break new ground next month when the club establishes its first roots in the southern suburbs of Sydney.
The Sky Blues have long established partnerships with the Sutherland Shire, St George and South Coast Football Associations and the expansion of the Academy Training Program (ATP) to a second location at Kareela will give the best local girls and boys better opportunities to engage with the Sydney FC Academy pathway.
"We've always had tremendous support from those three areas and the region is a strong breeding ground for some of our most talented young players," said Sydney FC CEO Danny Townsend.
"We've seen Joel King and Cameron Devlin come through our Academy set up and go onto represent Australia at the Olympics in recent years, not to mention Angelique Hristodoulou and Mackenzie Hawkesby who have been part of Young and Future Matildas squads.
"By setting up a second base with the help of Sutherland Shire FA at Kareela we are making our Academy pathway even more accessible to the young girls and boys in this region, with a view to improving their development and potentially uncovering some A-League and W-League stars of the future."
The ATP started at the club's Macquarie University base three years ago and has cemented itself as the most common way for selection into the under 13 boys Academy squad, with 82 per cent selected from last year's program.
Youth Technical Director Kelly Cross said the ATP is widely-regarded as a "fantastic" way for talented players to gain additional training as well as to play with other talents from all over Sydney.
"The boys and girls who attend love the game-based activities and fun but competitive atmosphere," he said.
"The players build sound relationships with our coaches, who apply the same principles we utilise in the Sydney FC Academy.
"Because we see these players every week at ATP, it allows us to develop a clear picture of their strengths and an understanding of their potential. That's why so many of the boys in our U13 Academy squad have come from ATP.
Mr Cross said they were very pleased with how the program had evolved.
"And our coaches love the fact that every player who attends ATP clearly improves over time," he said.
"It's a great opportunity for young kids to have a terrific football experience, develop as a player and perform in front of Sydney FC coaches.
"I personally attend ATP on a regular basis and it is one of the true pleasures of my job; the enthusiasm and talent on display puts a smile on my face, and the kids seem to love every minute of it."
Places in the program are limited and by application only for talented boys aged 10 and 11 years old and girls aged 12 and will take place every Sunday Night at Kareela in addition to the existing base at Macquarie.
- Applications are still open at sydneyfc.com/academy-training-program and are set to close on Friday, September 17.