There's some new kids on the block at Goulburn Valley Suns and they are loving the opportunity of being out on the park with the senior side.MATTHEW GALEA August 4, 2014 11:04pm
At Goulburn Valley Suns, the kids are all right.
The Suns finished Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Bentleigh Greens with three players on the park who could play for the club’s under-18 side — Riley Hamilton, 16, Joey Hogarty, 18, and Matthew Gleeson, 17.
Hamilton has impressed in recent weeks, starting the last three games and completed his first full 90 minutes on Saturday — even producing a brilliant goal-line block to ensure the Suns left with a point.
Saturday offered a first real glimpse at Hogarty and Gleeson and they looked the goods.
Hogarty was making his third appearance off the bench for the Suns’ seniors, but this was the first time he was given enough game time to make a true impact on the match.
The former Tatura player came on with 34 minutes to play and helped change the game in the Suns’ favour, showing plenty of invention on the ball and astute movement off the ball behind Frankie Lagana, who had moved up front.
‘‘The last two times I’ve come on, the game was over, so it was nice to come on at 2-1 down and have a chance to help change the game,’’ Hogarty said.
‘‘Ever since (senior coach) David (Davkovski) came on board, he’s been constantly encouraging us and told us we’d be part of the set up.
‘‘He just told me to run at them and have a crack, so it was nice to have that freedom.’’
Gleeson also had 29 minutes to impress on debut and worked diligently despite playing a full game in the under-20 fixture prior to the senior game.
The burly midfielder — a product of Shepparton South — tracked back well playing on the right side of a diamond midfield and even popped up in the box with a well-timed run, but could not hit the target with his chance.
‘‘It went all right. I played 90 minutes in the 20s, but I got through all right,’’ Gleeson said.
‘‘We’re playing a new system I’ve never played. I should have done better with the chance, but that will come in time.
‘‘Everyone’s just happy now. We’re one club now.’’
With six games left in the season, they have their sights set on more minutes.
‘‘Any minute on the park (for the seniors) is a bonus, but for us the goal would have to be actually starting a game now,’’ Gleeson said.
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