The words of wisdom former Socceroo gave to this Mackay star
“INVALUABLE” was the word from Magpies Crusaders coach Tom Ballantyne in the stands as he watched young striker Kyren Walters take tutelage from Brisbane Roar veteran Scott McDonald this morning.
Walters is one of five local players to have joined the A-League club in its pre-season training camp in Mackay this week, and the 19 year old has already impressed the former Socceroos striker.
“He’s lively. He has an eye for goal for sure,” McDonald said of Walters.
“I’m interested to see how he will go in the game on Saturday against our lot. Certainly in training he’s caused problems.
“Hopefully the future is bright for him.”
In a career comprising playing stints in the English Premier League and Scottish Premier League, and a veteran of 26 caps for Australia, McDonald remains one of the most knowledgeable and potent attacking threats in the country.
So it was an easy sell for Walters, when McDonald called him over, to take in the Roar star’s advice.
“I was just saying to him don’t come too early into the space … I said you want to come late, you always want to start behind them so they’re always looking for you, not the other way around,” McDonald explained.
“If you can keep your distance between yourself and the midfield there’s more opportunity to do things with the ball when it comes in, because the space between the midfielders and the attacker is bigger.”
That simple yet-sagely advice will be put into practice as early as tomorrow night, when Walters leads the line for Magpies Crusaders against the Roar in a pre-season exhibition at Sologinkin Oval.
With 11 players returning to Mackay this week to be made available for the clash with the Roar, Saturday’s Magpies Crusaders side will look vastly different to the one which played in the local competition this year.
The bulk of the original 2020 NPL Queensland squad has returned, alongside a handful of new faces.