The Finale of Most Wanted 2016 is a day where thirty minutes can change your life forever. A goal or massive performance could put you in contention. Some players who stand out in the first two days go missing and others come from nowhere to go straight to the top of the list.
The morning is relaxed with breakfast and then a very light shooting and tactical session. Rest and recovery are the most important aspects with players allowed to chill in their rooms or in the HQ. There is an afternoon tactics session, the coaches go through what is expected from the players and what the opportunity tonight means. The players then express what the Most Wanted opportunity has meant to them and what the future holds.
The mood has changed around Most Wanted as the Nike Academy squad arrived the night before. All the players are on edge as the evening match will determine who is chosen from Most Wanted 2016, but who is released from the Academy. Every player here either wants to be in the Nike Academy or keep their position in the Academy. Team A and Team B from MW will play a single thirty minutes each against the Academy side they are trying to dethrone.
Both halves are intense with so much at stake, it is the final opportunity to shine. Australia is well represented with Academy Alumni Ryan Blumberg in the heart of the defense, showing how much his game has matured since joining the Academy. Jacob Sullivan of Sydney and Jake Mechell of Auckland have performed well over the last three days and put in another solid shift in the game.
The game is over with a victory and a draw for the Academy. The wait now to find out if you are in or not seems like an eternity. Each individual player goes in for a 1v1 with Head Coach of the Nike Academy Jon Goodman. Unfortunately for Jacob and Jake, it is not their time, but players have impressed and have been kept on a waitlist should an opportunity present itself.
LOCALFC went through the whole journey with these players at the Most Wanted 2016. The program changes lives, for those that are chosen their professional careers have begun. they are now in the shop window. For those that are not chosen, once the disappointment fades. They realize this is what they want to do now, to become professional footballers. They now know what they have to do to achieve their dreams. Through the process, they have been given constant/ongoing support from the coaching staff. They have also met fellow young footballers with the same dreams who are now their friends for life.
If you get the chance to trial for Most Wanted, do it. We will definitely see you next year.