The Western Sydney Wanderers clinched the National Premier Leagues 2 under 18’s title with a 2-1 win over Sydney FC on Saturday.
The young Wanderers conceded an early goal but responded through captain Josh Bartolotto and Jeremy Skotadis to seal the result.
Bartolotto said it was a rewarding result after big changes during the season.
“The boys worked hard all year and we were on top from the start,” he said.
“Halfway through the season we lost a lot of boys because they were playing up so we had a lot of young guys playing for us.”
The grand final team had an average age of 16 and only two players who started the season in the squad.
Coach Arthur Diles praised the grand final performance as one of the team’s best of the season.
In the first year of the Wanderers Academy, most of the under 18’s squad progressed through to the under 20’s and NPL men’s grades.
Diles said the first year of the Wanderers Academy had been excellent, establishing a development path for the club’s young talent.
“As a club, it proved to be quite fruitful for us to give these kids opportunities,” he said. “For me, development without opportunity is irrelevant.”
The older Wanderers teams couldn’t replicate the under 18’s success with the under 20’s falling 2-1 and first grade side losing 4-1, both against Sydney FC in their respective grand finals.