Crook to develop Wanderers' future stars at elite academy
Crook has stepped down from his role as first team assistant coach to concentrate solely on developing the club’s future stars.
Long associated with youth development from his days at Northern Spirit, the former Sydney FC coach is renowned for bringing players through to the elite ranks.
Past and present Socceroos such as Brett Holman and Alex Wilkinson have benefited from the mentorship of the former Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City midfielder.
More recently, Wanderers Daniel Alessi, Steve Kuzmanovski and Shayne D’Cunha were all under Crook at Football NSW as were a number of other A-League youngsters including Liam Rose, Anthony Kalik and Hagi Gligor.
With the Wanderers’ Youth League side already producing a number of first team players – including eight current Young Socceroos – Crook will bring the same focus on development to the academy.
“I’m excited to return to elite youth development because this project is something new and I’ll have the opportunity to mould and develop players for our first team using the talent of Western Sydney for which our region has always been known for,” Crook said.
“Success will be deemed by how many players from Western Sydney end up in the Hyundai A-League and in the Socceroos. This club has worked heavily in the past three years on developing good attributes in individuals and we want to continue that.
“We’ll have good coaches in place and a template for the coaches to work with that will give the players the best chances of becoming a first team player.”
Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas said Crook is the ideal man for the job.
“Ian Crook has an excellent pedigree in the identification and training of young footballers built over a lifetime coaching and playing,” Tsatsimas said.
“Our reach across Western Sydney to identify and progress the best talent will be second to none. We have scouting networks in clubs and schools throughout our seven core associations and we will be vigorous in unearthing and developing the best young talent Western Sydney has to offer.
“This forms a significant part of the creating a sustainable long-term model and will become the platform for future generations of Wanderers to take the step into elite football.”