Only a few clubs have excelled at providing young players with valuable minutes. The landscape of the league depicts that young players must perform from the start or look down the barrel of a short contract or being shipped back to the NPL. This is due to salary cap restrictions, and the lack of incentive clubs have at selling on their home-made products, due to the current lack of a domestic transfer system.
However, at City Football Group (CFG) club Melbourne City, developing home grown players is key; they have made a considerable statement of intent, throwing down money to build a state of the art training centre in the South East of Melbourne, which is arguably one of the most football driven areas of the country.
Max Caputo is one of their newest inductees into the professional environment with the club, at only 15 years of age. Being only the second player to don the City kit at that age, alongside Idrus Abdulahi, Max Caputo has made a strong start to senior football life scoring 9 goals in 8 games in the NPL 3 for Melbourne City NPL. Incredibly, the youngster scored the same amount of goals in U18s at the age of 13 back in 2019, which exhibits that he was always destined to play at a higher level at a young age.
Having played for Essendon Royals and Caroline Springs George Cross FC and most recently Melbourne City in his junior years, Max Caputo looks to be well on track to continue with his professional career after recently signing a two year scholarship deal which begins on July 1st of this year.
Jorge Gero, Football Technical Director and Coach at Caroline Springs George Cross FC who coached Max Caputo for a season, stated on a LinkedIn post that Caputo has a “bright future ahead of him”. Essendon Royals also published an article celebrating Caputo’s scholarship contract, which depicts their involvement in the young players development. This goes to show that young players can benefit from clubs and coaches being closely involved in their progress.
After a couple of smart touches in his first few minutes of professional football, Melbourne City’s faithful will be watching the young striker closely as he looks to push for more minutes in an increasingly competitive Melbourne City environment.