Wanderers call up for FNSW Institute U16 captain


Football NSW Institute Under 16 captain Lachlan Campbell will spend the week in Coffs Harbour with the Western Sydney Wanderers first team after impressing in the NPL and a recent trial match between Western Sydney and Mount Druitt Rangers.
One of two FNSW Institute Under 16 players invited to train and play with Tony Popovic’s team last week, central defender Campbell will experience life at the professional level alongside some of his heroes after an outstanding season of development in the FNSW Institute system.
Thomas Meier, a left sided defender was also given the chance to represent the Wanderers against Mt Druitt after being identified as a future prospect by the professional club. 
Both players performed with distinction and composure to become the first players in the history of the program to experience A-­?League level football while still training with the FNSW Institute U16 team.
According to Football NSW Institute Under 16 Head Coach, Craig Foster, both players are outstanding examples of the benefits of the FFA development pathway.
"Thomas and Lachlan have devoted themselves admirably to their football education.
"Both fantastic kids, it has been a marvellous lesson for the rest of the group to know their two teammates can step up to play with the Asian Champions. These two particularly show the importance of working hard and never giving up.
"Thomas missed selection for last year’s National Training Centre Challenge in Canberra and, yet, six months later he’s stepping out for the Wanderers senior team. This is testament to the immense improvement he has made.
"And Lachlan was recruited this season from Hills Brumbies in NPL2, having not been part of the elite pathway previously. This clearly shows there is talent outside the system that we must not overlook.
"I know FFA Technical Director, Eric Abrams is aiming to introduce new Talent Identification accreditation, and Lachlan’s experience suggests this is a priority. Both players showed courage to challenge themselves with new ways of playing that we implement with the FNSW 16’s, especially for defenders who are expected to contend with equal and often superior numbers, and to constantly build the game against older, aggressive players.
"We analyse A-­?League football with the kids and implement many of the tactical systems so that the boys are familiar with the details when their chance comes.
"This does, of course severely challenge them while playing against teams several years advanced, nevertheless the outcomes over the past three years have been immensely pleasing.
"Two years ago, eleven players graduated to the AIS and Joey’s, a new benchmark from one State. Eleven players from last year’s group matriculated into the A-­League clubs, which was also a record for the program, and I’m confident this year’s crop will similarly evolve into high level players.
"The entire squad has been granted an opportunity to trial with the Wanderers’ youth coaches this week, also a first for the Football NSW program, and all will draw great confidence from the success of their teammates.
"I’m thrilled for all the kids, especially those who were outside the pathway and can now dream of a professional and international career."