Western Sydney Wanderers 19-year-old deep lying midfielder Marc Tokich has only played 264 minutes this season.

The former FFA Centre of Excellence graduate and 2017 National Youth League Player of the Year was consistently a non-starter for majority of the season.

Team situation: There isn’t much squad depth in the middle of the park at the Wanderers: Keanu Baccus, Rashid Mahazi, and Jordan O’Doherty, who was sidelined due to an ACL in February.

Alexander Baumjohann plays further forward, so Tokich wouldn’t necessarily be rivalling him.

No word on whether or not Tokich stays at the club next season, if he is only getting 260 minutes, it’d be wise to examine his options.

Another outcast is Perth Glory’s winger and attacking midfielder Jacob Italiano, who’s played just 46 minutes all season! Italiano started only one game in round 26.

This is a massive change from the previous season under Kenny Lowe, where Italiano made 16 appearances.

Having just one half of professional football all season has been sadly detrimental to his potential growth and development ahead of his move to the Bundesliga.

Team situation: No shying away from the fact that Perth Glory are out to win the league and that means no room for young players. Which is why Italiano hasn’t been able to get a look-in because there are players like Chris Ikonomidis, Diego Castro, Joel Chianese and Fabio Ferreira ahead of him.

It was also common knowledge last season he was off to Borussia Monchengladbach at the end of the 2018/19 campaign, which wouldn’t have helped his case to get regular minutes. A general school of thought amongst coaches would be ‘why invest when he’s not sticking around?’

Lastly, Melbourne City takes the cake, who gave 19-year-old right-back Dylan Pierias just 22 minutes from two games all season. Pierias shone in the club’s NYL and NPL2 sides, and is amongst the leadership group in the Young Socceroos, but could not get a look in at first team level.

Team situation: Ritchie De Laet locked down the right-back role to begin with, but was quickly given the responsibility to play other positions, including striker. When De Last was out due to injury or moved further up the field, Nathaniel Atkinson would slip into defence. However, Atkinson too suffered an injury throughout the season – which is where Pierias could have been used instead of a Harrison Delbridge.

It’s positive the 19-year-old has secured a move to new A-League club Western United, where one would believe he will be getting more game time come 2019/2020.

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Louise Taffa
taffa.louise@gmail.com