Formerly of the Western Sydney Wanderers, 19-year-old striker Moudi Najjar is enjoying life at Melbourne City after making the move in February 2018.

In his first season with City’s National Youth League team he scored seven goals in six games in Conference A.

This was a new experience for Najjar as he had never played against youth teams such as Perth Glory, Melbourne Victory, Adelaide United or Brisbane Roar given the divide in the Y-League.

“Coming from the Sydney conference it’s different, you see different people and different teams,” Najjar said on Evenings on FNR.

He’s also receiving a different level of exposure in Victoria, because if one thing’s certain, it’s that someone’s always watching. Take Warren Joyce, who has been supporting the young players since he arrived at Bundoora, keeping an eye over his academy products whenever they play at C.B Smith Reserve. 

Joyce’s name has become synonymous with giving youth a chance.

Off the back of an outstanding youth season, Najjar earned his A-League debut in late January when he came on as a substitute for Luke Brattan in a 4–3 win over his old club.

Najjar told Evenings on FNR he was “very happy to make his debut” and grateful Joyce gave him a chance.

“He’s a very good coach, he helps you to get to the next level and he watches our youth games,” Najjar said.

“Of course it’s a big jump [in the A-League], you’re playing with more experienced players.”

“If you’re playing in the youth you’re with younger kids so you have to tell them where to go, whereas with A-League you don’t have to tell them because they’re helping you out.”

“It’s faster and you have to think quicker when you get the ball.”

Despite not having his relatives there on the day with him, the Moudi fan club is growing at a rapid rate.

“After my first [A-League] game I have videos from my family watching at home, all my cousins, mum and dad…everyone it was amazing,” Najjar said.

“They haven’t watched any A-League games in Melbourne yet, hopefully they do.”

The 19-year-old has been included in the squad for City’s away trip to Sydney FC on Sunday at Jubilee stadium, where many of his family members will be there watching.

“There will probably be fifty of them just waiting there [Jubilee] to get in,” Najjar laughed.

Should he get more minutes against the Sky Blues it will be his third A-League appearance.

Louise Taffa