Queensland Academy of Sport put a premium on performance rather than results, meaning their last-placed finish in this year’s NPL Queensland competition shouldn’t be accepted at merely face value.
Boasting some of the most talented young players in the league, QAS pushed some of the leagues bigger clubs for the full 90 minutes this year, with several players progressing to the National Youth League.
Four QAS players received nominations to the 2013 NPL Queensland Supporters XI.
Fraser Chalmers (Goalkeeper)
Young defender make mistakes as they learn, so it’s fair to say Fraser Chalmers wasn’t without practice this year between the sticks for the Academy. Originally hailing from Sydney and previously at Redcliffe-based club Peninsula Power, Chalmers continues to excel under the tutelage of the QAS coaching staff and this season earned a place with Brisbane Roar’s youth team.
Chalmers was nominated by CQFC Energy head coach Ray Wood, who had no doubts Chalmers will continue to thrive on the development pathway, “He has the best chance out of all NPL keepers to making professional football. He has a great, strong frame in goal.”
Roman Hoffman (Centre Back)
A truly versatile footballer, Roman Hoffman receives his nomination in the centre of defence, however the 19 year old proved equally effective in midfield and at full back this year for Academy. A Gold Coast product, Hoffman progressed through the grades including stints with Burleigh Heads senior side as well as representing the Under 19 Queensland Schoolboys.
Still learning his craft, Hoffman has room to grow both physically and mentally, a fact highlighted by CQFC Energy head coach Ray Wood, who nominated Hoffman for the Supporters XI. “For such a young player, with three to four years development in him, he can go far,” Wood said, “He’s strong in the air and in a tackle.”
Sam Sibatuara (Left Back)
Deployed mainly further up the pitch for QAS, CQFC Energy head coach Ray Wood nominated Sam Sibatuara to his team believing he has all the ingredients to be a first-class fullback. He's not alone in his assessment, with the young speedster selected to work with Brisbane Roar's youth team as a "train-on" player this summer.
After making appearances primarily off the bench last year in the QSL, Sibatuara was a first team regular for QAS this year, netting three goals for the Academy including a double against FNQ FC Heat late in the season.
Sam Cronin (Right Back)
18 year old Sunshine Coast talent Sam Cronin had a break-out year for Queensland Academy of Sport, regularly appearing on the score sheet for the youngsters against some of NPL Queensland’s leading clubs. His goal against CQFC Energy in Rockhampton displayed the characteristics for which he is increasingly renowned – following up a clever run with some tight ball control before placing his shot with assuredness.
Cronin was a late recruit to Brisbane Roar’s Youth team last season, and is expected to play an increased role this year in the National Youth League. Cronin was nominated by his Academy coach and former Roar defender Josh McCloughan who described him as a ‘dark horse’. McCloughan summed up his performances succinctly, :He can defend and provides a great outlet going forward.”
For details on how to support your club and reward your favourite players and be in the chance to win a signed Brisbane Roar football, follow the link to the 2013 NPL Queensland Supporters XI competition page - http://bit.ly/19Wa0Pj
Words: Michael Flynn (Football Queensland)
Last Modified on 25/11/2013 16:51