From NFC Academy to NSM: Football Pathways

Four of the brightest stars to emerge from the Northbridge FC Academy last year have earned a place in the North Shore Mariners squad in the lead-up to their 2019 season.

Joe Irvine (U13 Boys), Matthew Selkrig (U14 Boys), Alexander Byrne (U16 Boys) and Sophia Skarparis (U17 Girls) each swapped the red and white for a fresh navy blue and yellow kit.

Luke Bakos and Lachlan Choy were also included in the North Shore Mariners U13 squad earlier this year after a successful season in the Northbridge Academy last year.

These promotions highlight how the Northbridge FC Academy continues to develop the skills of aspiring footballers, serving as a pathway for enthusiastic players.

Skarparis enjoyed the challenge of higher-quality football, but also appreciated the enthusiasm of her new teammates.

“Last year I went from playing Academy to Premier League and I improved so much – my first touch and passing improved so much,” said Skarparis.

“Going on the field with people you love playing with and having that sense of community and encouragement – knowing that even if you don’t play your best, you still have a team behind you who support you.”

Similarly, Irvine – while small in stature – isn’t going to let the new-found pace of competitive football stop showing his capability on the pitch.

“It was certainly a step up from what I used to play – it was faster and everyone was bigger,” said Irvine.

“I just hope to play well and be able to show off how well I can play.”