Alex Thelwall, 17, in action for the Tweed Heads Kangaroos in Gold Coast Soccer first division.
Alex Thelwall, 17, in action for the Tweed Heads Kangaroos in Gold Coast Soccer first division. Scott Powick

Tyros to step up

NINE of Tweed's most talented young footballers have been given the opportunity to impress Gold Coast United National Youth Team coach Mike Mulvey.

United invited each of Gold Coast's soccer clubs to send two of their best players for a series of training sessions under Mulvey to help build their talent and show them what is expected to play at Australia's highest level.

More than 60 players have been divided into two groups and they trained for the first time this week. There are not guarantees of any contracts for any of the boys but there are spots to be filled in the back-to-back premiership-winning youth team. Mulvey wants to make them hungry to represent United and follow in the footsteps of Kingscliff product James Brown.

“This is a step up a little bit and it will give them an incentive to go back to their clubs and continue to improve. If we just give them a little taste of what this is about, it might just fire something in their belly to improve and get to the next level,” Mulvey said. “It is really important we engage with the community and also improve young players on the Gold Coast – that is something we are striving for, (representing Gold Coast United) can't be something that is at arm's length, and something a kid might never get a taste of or sniff at.”

Mulvey said the players would be working on their first touch, technique and passing skills while also learning what being a professional footballer was all about. “We are trying to educate the kids about what it actually takes, it is not just a question of training twice a week and becoming lucky – it is amazing how much luckier you get the harder you work.”

They have already had two training sessions and Mulvey will take them for another two in coming weeks. But Mulvey is already impressed with the talent. “It is important to provide an environment to improve, especially at this age, and I have been pleasantly surprised. It is obvious they are all working in clubs helping them to develop.”

He said the Tweed boys should look to emulate Brown whom he described as an excellent role model. “James is a local product made good. He was born and bred there at Kingscliff and has been through the heights of youth development as part of the Australian under-20 and under-17 teams, and now he is a professional and looking at a big year.

“He has a responsibility because he is from that area and is a good role model. ”



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