It’s out with the young as league loses ground
WHILE there is no doubting that Kwame Yeboah's move to Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach can only be good for the teenager, it does bring up a rather large quandary for football in this country.
Obviously Yeboah can only benefit from playing in one of the top leagues in the world, but what does his move say about the A-League?
Of course, there is no way that a club such as Brisbane Roar would stand in the way of such a move for any young player, and, to be fair, it has not.
But the question that has to be asked is: What can the A-League do about stopping the trickle of young players going out of the competition from becoming a flood.
Now, some might say that having our young and up-and-coming players plying their trade in Europe can only be good for the Socceroos in the long run. That is all well and good, but the advancement of our players should not be to the detriment of the national league.
If the best young players keep being taken from the A-League then obviously the standard will eventually drop.
Now that will have a two-fold effect on the competition.
Not only will playing standards go down but the crowd support is also likely to dwindle, meaning there will not be as much money coming into the game to improve the league.
Young players will always want to play at the highest standard, but what the powers-that-be at A-League headquarters have to do is to improve the standard of the league to such a level that players will have no need to move to other competitions.
Already over the past couple of years we have seen the likes of Robbie Kruse, Tommy Oar, Tom Rogic, Marco Rojas and Mat Ryan move to pastures new.
This week, as well as Yeboah's move, Mariners young gun Michael McGlinchey has gone to join his former Central Coast coach Graham Arnold in Japan.
The ones that will suffer from that move are the Mariners and the A-League, and until the top brass at Football Federation Australia find a way to stop this happening then clubs and competition will continue to be hit hard.
Now, I am all for improving young players and it's great to see young Australian players doing well in the world's top leagues.
But it would be 100 times better if they could all be doing it in the A-League.