A goal imagined by Western Sydney: Baccus strike repays years of faith

It was a goal scored by Keanu Baccus, assisted by Mohamed Adam and imagined by the Western Sydney Wanderers Academy.

The Wanderers kids are indeed alright, as last Friday's 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory showed.

Western Sydney have invested heavily in their youth production over the years, but the spotlight has never shone so brightly on the club's commitment to nurturing talent from one of Australia's famous footballing breeding grounds.

In Baccus, Adam, Nick Sullivan and Daniel Wilmering, Markus Babbel fielded four Wanderers academy graduates in his starting eleven at Marvel Stadium. Sullivan, Adam and Baccus all combined for the young midfielder's superb opener - a strike created by years of dedication and hard work on the training ground.

It was, as 21-year-old Sullivan remarked post-game, like the trio had all done it before together.

“I was in the Wanderers youth team when I was 15, 16, 17 years old and Keanu and I used to play in the midfield together so we’ve got the combinations going and it’s good to see it happening three or four years later,” Sullivan said.

“I’ve done it a few times but that’s no credit to me, I feel like Adam made the run, he saw my eyes maybe going there and it was the hard work off the ball."

 



In addition to the four academy kids who stole the show on the pitch, there were five more academy talents in waiting on the Wanderers substitutes bench - Tass Mourdoukoutas, Mathieu Cordier, Kosta Grozos, Jake Trew and Nicholas Suman - all part of the visibly exciting post-match celebrations as the Red and Black started a Hyundai A-League season with back to back wins for the first time.

It's easy to forget that what might be a historic day for the club began with Noah Pagden being announced as the latest Wanderer to earn promotion to the club's first team.

“He’s shown faith in me and a number of the younger players,” Baccus said after the game.

“There’s a good mix now with leaders and young players.

“We’re all really getting on now and it’s going to be a good year.”

With German striker Alex Meier getting off the mark in Melbourne, compatriot Nicolai Muller soon to bolster the attacking arsenal, and Swiss internationals Pirmin Schwegler and Daniel Lopar controlling the midfield and goal mouth with impressive command, the Wanderers are building nicely.

A win over Sydney FC in the derby at Bankwest Stadium next Saturday would send the feel-good factor sky high.