Melbourne City have let another young player slip through their fingers.

That’s the third that Western United have poached from the club, with Young Socceroos goalkeeper and former FFA Centre of Excellence scholarship holder James Delianov to link up with the new expansion outfit next season.

Delianov joins City Academy product Dylan Pierias who also has featured at youth national team level both with the U-17 Joeys and also the U-20 Young Socceroos. Pierias played just 22 senior minutes this A-League season under Warren Joyce.

City youth midfielder Josh Cavallo didn’t even step onto the pitch.

Three promising talents that have now been picked up by a rival club.

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Former Melbourne City youth head coach Joe Palatsides lead a group of players to National Youth League victory twice. Many players from those two title wins have now moved on and it’s a big loss for the club.

Palatsides has already left the club. Should his right-hand man Lachie Armstrong follow him out the door, Melbourne City’s youth academy will regress. Both Palatsides and Armstrong built it up to what it is today: one of the best A-League academies in the country. At this point in time, City cannot afford to go backwards. Producing youth is one of their only options.

One breakthrough was midfielder Denis Genreau, who was fortunate enough to go on loan to PEC Zwolle. In pre-season he shone, proving he was good enough to start for the Dutch side on a regular basis. He will now return to City which is a big positive – whether or not he actually wants to return after having a taste of Europe is another story.

We’ve seen Nathaniel Atkinson break onto the scene and prove to be a quality player. The A-League also had a taste of what Ramy Najjarine has to offer with his sparing chances throughout the campaign and wonder strike against the Central Coast Mariners, with City’s youngest debutant at 15-years-old, Idrus Abdulahi playing a major role in the build-up to that.

Those are three that currently remain and at all costs, can’t be lost.

Louise Taffa