Bayswater sends youngsters to the top

Bayswater City’s reputation as a stepping stone to professional football continues to grow with three of its young stars winning contracts which will thrust them onto the national stage.

Bayswater has developed a fully professional development structure in recent years, a move which is paying dividends for the club and individual players. This week three of the club’s players proved the success of
Bayswater’s approach. Gian Albano and Nikola Talimdzioski signed with leading Victorian NPL clubs Melbourne Knights and Preston Lions respectively while teenage striker Luke Salmon moved a step closer to his dream of a
professional football career by signing with Perth Glory.

Bayswater Vice President Oriano Colli believes the three players’ departure is proof the club’s development model is working.

“The club has always tried to educate young players and make them better but in the last few years that had become moreevident,” Colli says. “We have the right coaches throughout the club, people who believe in what we are trying to do and are helping build a pathway from our juniors all the way through to our senior team and, hopefully, beyond.”

While Bayswater head coach Chris Coyne may feel some disappointment in losing three important players, it is far outweighed by his pride in helping the players – particularly Salmon who he had coached since the age of 11 – fulfil their ambitions.

“I think we provide a holistic environment – with the best coaching, services and facilities – which allows players to develop good professional habits which is what will get them to the next level,” he says. “A-League clubs may have the budget but we provide an environment in which kids can develop and move through the system.”

The players themselves have also paid tribute to Bayswater’s professional attitude. Both Albano and Talimdzioski recognise the impact Bayswater’s professional approach has had on their own progress.

“It had lived up to its professional attitude, even though the club is only in a non-professional league, its standards are well above the rest,” Talimdzioski says.

Albano says his time at Bayswater would help him achieve his ultimate dream of winning a professional contract in Australia or overseas.

“The approach to everything, on and off the field, is so important at Bayswater,” he says. “Being confident and trusting your ability on the pitch is one thing but doing the right things off the pitch – getting enough sleep, eating the right food, doing the proper recovery – are all vital in professional sport.”

Coyne knows a thing or two about the dedication needed to reach the top of the sport, having won seven caps for the Socceroos during a glittering career which saw him play professionally in England for 10 years.

He believes Salmon (17) has it what it takes to make it at the top level.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for Luke and I’m very proud of him,” Coyne says. “If he’s professional in his attitude and approach he could reach the A-League and probably even beyond that.”

For Salmon, the lessons he has learnt during his formative years at Bayswater will stay with him wherever his career takes him.

“I’ve really benefitted from being taught about professional ways of approaching the game,” he says. “They have shown me what I need to do to become a full time footballer. The club feels like a second family and everyone had shown me how to keep working hard, even when things aren’t going for us.”

Given the growth the club’s development programme is now enjoying – some 1,300 youngsters have participated in trials recently – Coyne should probably expect to see more young performers to depart in coming years.

“It might be detrimental to our team but if there is one player coming through each year moving onto bigger and better things, I’ll happily drop them at the airport myself,” he says.

For Colli, there will always be a bit of the Bayswater DNA in players who go through the system, regardless of where they end up.

“It is very difficult to become a professional footballer so ultimately we want to produce good footballers but also good people; that’s what we are trying to instil in all our players.”

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