Popovic: The future is bright

Jonathan Aspro
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Wanderers boss Tony Popovic says he has plenty of confidence in the Red & Black's generation next.

The Wanderers will be heading into tonight's clash against Wellington Phoenix with plenty of momentum after securing their first three points in the 2017 Asian Champions League group stage.

With many positives to take from the match in terms of the Red & Black's performance, the amount of youngsters taking to the field and making their mark on the match was certainly one of the standouts. 

Defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis and goalscorers Lachlan Scott and Jaushua Sotirio all played major parts in sealing an invaluable away victory.

Popovic says it's an exciting time for the Club and the fans to watch the ongoing development of the youthful trio. 

"We exposed a lot of young players to Champions League football in Seoul and they came through. You can see how much they've improved and developed," said Popovic.

"We're very happy it's part of a stage our club is evolving. 

"It's our fifth season as a football club and now we're seeing more and more youngsters coming through which has always been part of our philosophy. 

"We've had young Keanu Baccus get minutes and Abraham Majok get minutes so the future is bright."

Jaushua Sotirio

Exposing players to the high pedigree of players in the Champions League can at times be a risk but Popovic says it's something that will help them with their future development.

"We have to understand that with young players it takes time and they can have inconsistencies.

"But we've seen throughout the year the good performances the younger boys have shown and we were delighted to see on the bigger stage our young players perform and come through.

"In the end, when they had to defend that's also part of learning and part of football - seeing a game out.

"They held their nerve in the end which was pleasing."

Lachlan Scott

With players like Aspropotamitis, Scott and Sotirio already exposed to a level of competitive football in the Hyundai A-League, the Champions League is a massive step up but Popovic has plenty of faith that his current crop of youngsters are up for the challenge.

"They'll have great confidence in knowing that the Club has faith in their ability to play at the highest level," said Popovic.

"They've seen that already in the Hyundai A-League. They have played in our biggest games with the biggest crowds.

"They've been trusted and they've performed. It's just part of their development.

"They've done it now in the Champions League and what we've now seen in the game on Wednesday - all the players are now looking forward to the match (against Wellington Phoenix)."