Academy Success No Accident As JPL U18s Go Undefeated

There’s little doubting the results coming out of the Academy of Football Australia regiment, with the Gary Scott designed program proving itself as a virtual assembly line for future professional players.

Nowhere is this more immediately evident than the results of our upper-tier JPL teams, who have again in 2019 shown to be a dominant force across the Gold Coast.

This year our U18 JPL side has again gone undefeated for the second year running, dropping not a single point as they comfortably took the Football Gold Coast Premiership early, almost 20 points ahead of their closest rival.

The Gold Coast’s number one U18 side for the second year running, with there being not signs of the run of quality at Nerang and the AFA letting up any time soon.

Running the 18s squad this year has been veteran coach Keith Garland, who has shown nothing but admiration and praise for the young players he’s taken through the season.

2019 U18 JPL coach Keith Garland and team captain Ben Dixon show off the silverware they’ve added to the club already this year.

Garland sang the squad’s praises at the recent presentation of the 2019 Football Gold Coast Premiership trophy.

“They played 17 League games after the restructuring of the League (earlier this year), and they’ve won them all – that’s 17 games straight and that’s outstanding, at any level.

“That’s a credit to all of you players and a credit to the club … to the parents, I’m sure you’re proud of these boys as much as I am, they’ve been brilliant,” said Garland.

This year’s incredible result follows on from last year’s success where they took all four titles they went for undefeated – the Pre Season tournament, the JPL Premiership, the Grand Final and again taking the Gold Coast Champions Cup after facing a serious assault from some regional sides including NPL talent.

In 2017 our U18s – as a squad consisting of predominantly U16 players at the time – only dropped 2 games for the entire year, and incredible feat at the time from the much younger side.

This year Nerang’s U16 JPL side are not far off the pace either, going neck-and-neck with Runaway Bay towards the Premiership and Grand Final, with both titles remaining in play as we write this.

The results show the depth of quality and the backlog of players wanting to push ahead into the new era of JPL teams coming out from Nerang and on to greater heights.

The unique training systems developed by AFA head coach Gary Scott have consistently delivered results for young players willing to put in the hours and commitment towards a common goal – a chance at a professional football career. That goal has been drawing closer and closer to many of Nerang’s players every season since forming the partnership with the Academy of Football Australia.

Ben Dixon knocks a powerful header against Broadbeach this year.

Over the last couple of years a string of Nerang player’s have left the club and the Academy after being called up to loftier positions through various scholarships and contracts with international clubs in the United Kingdom, Europe and the USA.

From the current squad of Nerang and AFA U16 and U18 players here’s just some of those names and their recent postings

  • Charlie Dixon, Shrewsbury Town (UK Div 1) Scholarship
  • Beau Cornish, The New Saints U19 Scholarship (Welsh Premier League)
  • Josh Grant, Lincoln City (UK div 1)
  • James Blackman, The New Saints U19 Scholarship
  • Lewis Gibson, Brisbane Roar Youth Team
  • Ben Dixon, The New Saints U19 Scholarship
  • Jordan Bishop, Football Scholarship, State Fair University, USA
  • Yanis Benzanatl, Toulon FC, France
  • Alex Boorer, Football Scholarship, Lewis and Clarke University, USA
  • Caleb Murphy, Malaga FC, Spain
A formidable sight for any opposing player, Academy of Football and Nerang emerging talents (L-R) Henry Adams, James Blackman and Micheal Roussakis.

It’s not just the overseas offers garnered that have been impressive, but also the array of young players joining the Nerang Senior Football ranks and making impressive impact in our own Premier League and Premier League Reserves sides this year.

Players like Micheal Roussakis, the trio of Max, Harry and Sam King, Joel Bruggy, Zayne Ivanyi, Henry Adams, Ethan Towse, goalkeeper Riley White and U16 striker Joseph Fallembu have all made incredible strides into the ranks of first-division senior football, producing quantifiable results rarely seen from youth players on the senior football pitch.

Those results on the field and the results for the players going on to bigger and brighter things is testament to those systems developed over many years by AFA Director and Head Coach Gary Scott, who has moved away somewhat from the common and often hyped player-development models to build his own systems based on the intrinsic biomechanics, muscle memory and physical development of emerging youth players.

U16 player Joseph Fallumbu causing havoc for the Burleigh defence in this year’s Premier League

Unique to the AFA and NSC, this intensive program gives players a chance to ‘catch up’ to the rest of the world in terms of the intensity and progression of core football skill development, something that many would argue has long been missing from Australian football curriculums, especially at club level.

Academy of Football Director and Head Coach Gary Scott.

The dedication and commitment of Gary Scott and his team of supporters is second to none and the results on the field speak for themselves … there’s absolutely no doubt that the future is bright for any young player who takes on the challenge of AFA training and sees it through.

For more information or to join the AFA in Season 2020, be sure to follow the Nerang Soccer Club and Academy Of Football Australia social media pages and listen out for pre-season trials coming up later in the year.