Young guns in 2018/19: where does your Hyundai A-League club rank?

The kids are alright - that much is for certain as we gear up for the final stretch of the regular Hyundai A-League 2018/19 campaign.

But who have the standout youth talents been at each club?

And which club has nurtured the most players under 24 throughout the season?

Let's see how your club has blooded the stars of tomorrow in 2018/19.

10. Perth Glory

Average age: 29.3

U24 players used in 2018/19: 8

Most U24 players used in a game: 3

Best young star: Chris Ikonomidis

Perth Glory’s Premiership assault has been built on the back of some hardened professionals.

But they have also been aided by the starring performances of clearly one of the best youngsters of the campaign in Chris Ikonomidis.

The 23-year-old has scored eight goals and supplied three assists in 14 matches.

Former Liverpool talent Jake Brimmer has also made a solid contribution when required, providing valuable depth in midfield.

9. Wellington Phoenix

Average age: 27.1

U24 players used in 2018/19: 5

Most U24 players used in a game: 4

Best young star: Liberato Cacace

Wellington Phoenix might boast the second highest average age in the competition, but the Kiwis’ emerging crop of stars have made a telling contribution.

Mark Rudan promised to utilise New Zealand’s home-grown talent instead of casting his eye overseas, and that decision has reaped handsome rewards.

Sarpreet Singh, Alex Rufer and Liberato Cacace – all mainstays of Phoenix’s impressive resurgence – have all been outstanding performers.

8. Melbourne Victory

Average age: 26.5

U24 players used in 2018/19: 5

Most U24 players used in a game: 4

Best young star: Thomas Deng

Thomas Deng has resembled an experienced veteran at times this season, and there was no surprise when the defender received his first call up to the Caltex Socceroos last October.

The 21-year-old has started all but two of Melbourne Victory’s matches, growing into a key enforcer for Kevin Muscat’s side despite his youth.

Tasmanian midfielder Josh Hope has offered glimpses of promise, as has flying attacker Elvis Kamsoba, who signed on from NPL Victoria outfit Avondale in January.

7. Sydney FC

Average age: 26.9

U24 players used in 2018/19: 6

Most U24 players used in a game: 5

Best young star: Ben Warland

It has been a modest year on the Harbour City production line, but Steve Corica looks to have unearthed a real star in Luke Ivanovic.

Like teammate Cameron Devlin, Ivanovic plied his trade in the NPL NSW before graduating through Sydney FC’s academy, and the pair are now contesting for positions in Corica’s first XI.

In order to achieve that feat, they could do worse than take a leaf out of Ben Warland’s book. The Sky Blues have kept five clean sheets in the eight matches the Adelaide United defender has featured.

6. Newcastle Jets

Average age: 26.8

U24 players used in 2018/19: 8

Most U24 players used in a game: 8

Best young star: Johnny Koutroumbis

Newcastle Jets defenders Johnny Koutroumbis, Lachlan Jackson and Ivan Vujica have helped steady the ship for Ernie Merrick’s side this season.

And the Hunter Valley side have got some talent to call upon further up the field too, particularly in fit-again Joey Champness, who could prove to be a late-season wildcard in the club’s top-six charge.

5. Adelaide United

Average age: 26

U24 players used in 2018/19: 8

Most U24 players used in a game: 6

Best young star: Ryan Strain

Coventry-born utility Ryan Strain has found a home at right fullback for Adelaide United this season, where he has been a consistent performer for Marco Kurz.

Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and George Blackwood should continue to push their case for a regular spot in the Reds’ front line, while Nathan Konstandopoulos has patrolled the midfield diligently in his seven starts.

4. Melbourne City

Average age: 25.8

U24 players used in 2018/19: 9

Most U24 players used in a game: 5

Best young star: Riley McGree


The ‘Scorpion King’ might have a knack for the spectacular but this season Riley McGree has shown he’s no flash in the pan.

McGree has been a standout performer for Warren Joyce whether he is deployed in midfield or in the front line, playing all 21 matches for City.

Nathanial Atkinson, Ramy Najjarine and Lachlan Wales have also created selection headaches for Joyce this season.

3. Western Sydney Wanderers

Average age: 25.2

U24 players used in 2018/19: 12

Most U24 players used in a game: 9

Best young star: Keanu Baccus

Although it hasn’t sparked a Premiership challenge this season, the Western Sydney Wanderers have exerted a great deal of energy and effort into nurturing some of the stars of tomorrow.

Keanu Baccus has shouldered midfield responsibilities like an experienced general, while the likes of Tate Russell, Abraham Majok and Tass Mourdoukoutas have given the Red and Black’s campaign several silver linings.

2. Brisbane Roar

Average age: 25.7

U24 players used in 2018/19: 13

Most U24 players used in a game: 7

Best young star: Dylan Wenzel-Halls

Brisbane Roar will take solace in the fact they have planted seeds for the future during a tough 2018/19 season.

Roar fans need look no further than striker Dylan Wenzel-Halls as a man capable of spearheading the Queensland club’s rise back up the table from next season.

1. Central Coast Mariners

Average age: 25.1

U24 players used in 2018/19: 13

Most U24 players used in a game: 8

Best young star: Matt Millar

Central Coast Mariners are heading for back to back wooden spoons, but one of the Hyundai A-League’s great nurseries has produced again this season.

No other club has utilised their youth stars more than the Mariners this season, who have fielded at least six U24 players in 18 of their 21 matches.