Western Pride coach Graham Harvey considers Hayden Mchenery move to Brisbane Roar Youth a success for the club’s youth development policy.
Mchenery joined Roar’s PlayStation® 4 National Premier Leagues side on Monday for the remainder of the season with a view to securing a contract for this summer’s Foxtel National Youth League.
The 19-year old found fitness and form during a year long stint at Pride after a bout of Osteitis Pubis stalled his progress at the Queensland Academy of Sport.
Harvey said he was glad Mchenery decided Pride was the right club to rebuilt his career.
“I am delighted that Hayden has been able to gain full fitness this year and get consistency to his game, as everyone knew he was a talented player but now he has been able to show it,” Harvey said.
“Hayden was prepared to travel out to Pride 3 to 4 nights a week as he realised it was the right environment for his development rather than take the easy option of playing at his closest NPL club to home.”
The midfielder made his senior competitive debut at Pride last season, before making the last of his 22 appearances against FNQ Heat on Saturday.
Signing for Roar is the latest milestone for the Auckland-born Mchenery after being given the unique opportunity of playing in front New Zealand coach Andrew Hudson last month when Pride faced the All Whites at Briggs Rd Sporting Complex.
Mchenery is the second Pride player to join Roar in the last year, following striker Harrison Sawyer;s move last summer, while two additional Pride players are currently on trial.
Bon Scott and Ajdin Fetagenic also left Pride for professional clubs in the last 12 months, while 2016 players Joel Haack, Cory Leggett and Doug Brown are currently undertaking trials overseas.
Harvey said Pride were always looking for talented young players, especially those like Mchenery who were determined to make the most of a second chance.
“Everyone at Western Pride is vehemently committed to youth development as a policy and I as the first team coach am more than prepared to give young players the opportunity in the NPL regardless of club results or player CV’s.”
“Western Pride wishes Hayden the very best at the Roar, and we hope to be watching him running out at Suncorp Stadium in the near future!”
Words: Garry McKenzie
Photo: Chris Simpson
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