As Southern Expansion and the Wollongong Wolves eye a future at the elite level, A-League champions Sydney FC have moved to formalise a pathway partnership deep within the region’s heartland at Illawarra Sports High School.
The Sydney FC program has been established into two tiers, ‘elite’ and ‘development’ levels, with a view to exposing the young playing talent to the A-League club’s system.
Illawarra Sports High becomes the fourth school to be part of the Sydney FC structure, after Endeavour Sports High, Narrabeen Sports High and Bossley Park High.
The school’s director of sport Amy Child declared “we are working towards being the school based high performance centre for the development of aspiring young footballers in the Illawarra region.”
“We want all the players in our Illawarra program to feel part of the Sydney FC family, regardless of who they play for or what level they compete at,” Sydney FC Academy director Kelly Cross said.
“Our football school programs have proven over recent years that they will help players reach their potential, whatever that may be.”
Sydney FC’s involvement is an expansion of Football South Coast’s existing association with Illawarra Sports High and an information night on the new program will be held at the Fraternity Club on October 30, from 6pm.
“The Illawarra has a strong history of developing outstanding players: there are currently seven Wollongong boys in the Sydney FC Academy, which is almost 10 per cent,” Cross said.