Forget the cheque book, Ipswich giving talent a go
WESTERN Pride's growing reputation for developing young players was highlighted in their latest win at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
While other state league clubs continue buying big name players in their shortcut to success, Pride head coach Graham Harvey is staying true to his core values.
In Saturday night's 3-1 win over North Queensland United, rising talents Josh Wilson and Alex Parsons started the match. They enjoyed extended game time before two other young recruits Mitchell Herrmann and Jordan Manning made their senior team debuts.
"They have been playing really well for the 18s and 20s across the board,'' Harvey said of the exciting Pride prospects.
"You hear lots of the clubs in NPL say they are about developing juniors but then the first chance they get to go and sign someone, they go and sign someone.
"I think it's important here that people know that if you are good enough and you've worked hard enough, then we will give you a chance.
"We're not a club that's going to go signing players left, right and centre and chuck money at things. I don't see the point in that.
"I'm more interested in giving young players a chance and that's what we've done there tonight.''
Herrmann started with Pride in the under 13 ranks, sharing in last year's under 18 NPL premiership success on his progression to the top side.
Manning was coach of Pride's successful under 18 side, also captaining the club's under 20 team last season.
Manning also travelled with the senior Pride team on their post-season trip to Japan after the top side won the state league grand final.
"He's had a little bit of exposure but this was his first game in the NPL and he's worked hard at his game over the last 18 months. I'm pleased he's got the opportunity.''
After returning from a nine-day UEFA coaching course in Scotland, Harvey agreed his team had to regroup having lost some senior players through suspension and injury.
However, he was proud of the senior players and how the debutants responded to the challenge.
"We've got enough quality in there with boys coming up from the youth teams and they are more than capable of stepping up,'' Harvey said.