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Feb, 2, 2013

Victory building A-League depth with youth

Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou is assembling a department of youth he believes could prove a vital difference when his team eventually does battle in the A-League finals.

The Victory took another step towards that goal with a 2-1 derby triumph over Melbourne Heart, keeping the Victory in second place and now just a win behind leaders Central Coast Mariners.

And Postecoglou unveiled another youngster who looks set for the long-haul - 17-year-old defender Scott Galloway who performed creditably at right-back on debut in front of more than 40,000 fans at Etihad Stadium.

The Victory are now stacked with talented youth - most notably superstar winger Marco Rojas.

But the successful blooding this season of centre-half Nick Ansell, attackers Andrew Nabbout and Francesco Stella and now Galloway give Postecoglou a point of difference over other clubs in the finals hunt.

With every debut the Victory gives to a youngster, it grows depth and in Ansell, Nabbout and Galloway's cases, all have thrived on big, finals-like stages.

"The way we train, not just ourselves but in the youth team, we play the same way and there's comfort in the structure," Postecoglou said.

"Our youth team's going really well and there's a couple more in there we'll throw up (into the first-team) this year.

"We're going to need it (the depth). You see most teams getting some pretty noticeable injuries and absences at the moment.

"The clubs that are best prepared for that will be successful."

Postecoglou will have to reach into that depth for at least one spot in his starting 11 for next weekend's clash with fellow finals aspirants Adelaide United.

Centre-half Nick Ansell is set to have scans on a groin injury sustained early against the Heart, with Postecoglou believing he won't be fit enough to play.

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