Newcastle Jets Academy graduate Angus Thurgate marked his 50th appearance for the Club on Sunday, on a day where fellow Academy youngster, Archie Goodwin made his A-League debut.
Thurgate scored the winning goal in Melbourne against Victory, while 16 year-old debutant, Goodwin almost scored one of his own.
Reflecting on a milestone match for the Club, coach Craig Deans spoke highly of the pair, having been heavily involved in their development due to his position as Academy Director and Youth team mentor prior to his elevation as Head Coach.
“Gus is a great role model for all of the kids coming through, like Archie, to see Angus pick up 50 games for the club after making his way through the academy is something the others can look to, to inspire them,” Deans said.
Having trained with the fulltime squad throughout the pre-season, Goodwin was rewarded for his hard work with a scholarship deal late last year.
A standout performer in the youth competition for the past number of seasons, coupled with a great attitude and work ethic, Deans afforded the local product an opportunity in his A-League side over the weekend.
“Should’ve scored a goal,” Deans joked of Goodwin’s debut.
“He’s a great kid, he’s came through our Academy.
“I’ve seen him come through, he’s got a long way to go but he’s also got all the attributes you need to be a good footballer, great work ethic, good kid, fits in with the group.”
Goodwin joins the likes of Thurgate, Jack Simmons and Blake Archbold as players who spent extended periods within the Jets youth ranks before being called into the A-League side.
Speaking on the Academy Deans stated, “We want to be a club that develops their own players and brings them through when they’re ready.
“It’s exciting for us as a club to be able to develop our own players.”