Baccus brothers inspiration as Youlley carves his own path

When you come from a bloodline which includes Subway Socceroos midfielder Keanu Baccus and Western Sydney Wanderers-based brother Kearyn, joining what amounts to a family business is more a short skip than a quantum leap.

With the Baccus siblings cast as both role models and sounding boards, Young Socceroos playmaker Rhys Youlley, 18, is impressing many shrewd judges as he fast-tacks his own future in Europe, making an immediate impression for Westerlo’s U-21s on arrival in Belgium from the Macarthur Bulls.

A hat-trick and a couple of assists have been followed by training session for the first team, where Youlley rubs shoulders with another exciting prospect, budding Socceroos left back Jordan Bos.

Whilst Bos decamped to face England at Wembley with the senior team, Youlley - who offers creativity with a cutting edge - joined Trevor Morgan’s Young Socceroos for the Marbella Week of Football tournament in Spain, where he’s been influential in penalty shootout victories over France and Netherlands.

Jordan Bos
Jordan Bos against England. Photo credit Aleksandar Jason/Socceroos.

Morgan’s side are chasing a perfect record in Tuesday night’s final match against Denmark, where Youlley might once again emerge as a kingpin for his country.

With a first team breakthrough understood to be beckoning in Belgium, Youlley is taking his rapid rise in his stride.

“Everything is going well - there’s a big difference from the A-League and I’m expected to be a lot better than I was,” he explained.

“I’m expected to score each time and make things happen in matches.

“Jordi Bos has helped me settle in, showed me around a few places and it’s good to have him around.

“I’ve always wanted to play in Europe and to get the opportunity is really good. My hope is to try and break into the first team this year, that’s where my full focus lies.

“From what I see so far it’s very high level and very technical which suits my style of play.”

Though he only made a single A-League appearance for the Bulls, Youlley added two more in the Australia Cup, doing more then enough during a Westerlo trial back in March to secure an offer.

Keanu Baccus
Keanu Baccus against England. Photo credit Aleksandar Jason/Socceroos.

Advice and tips are at his finger tips with both Keanu, starring for St Mirren in Scotland, and Kearyn on speed dial.

“I’m always talking to them and they give me lots of pointers which I’m grateful for,” he added.

“Look how well Keanu is going in Scotland, it’s great to see. They both just tell me to stay focused and grounded and when the opportunity comes to take it with both hands. I really look up to both of them.”

Westerlo sent representatives to Spain to check on their promising import, adding more motivation - if any were needed - to excel in the green and gold.

He started against France, which finished 1-1, and was a game-changing presence off the bench in a second 1-1 deadlock with the Netherlands.

Penalties decided both in Australia’s favour, with Youlley converting his spot kick in a 6-5 shootout win over the Dutch.


Australia 1 (5) France 1 (2)
Thursday, 12 October
Marbella Football Centre, Marbella
Kick-off: 2.00pm (local) / 11.00pm AEDT

Australia 1 (6) The Netherlands 1 (5)
Saturday, 14 October
Marbella Football Centre, Marbella
Kick-off: 7.00pm (local) / 4.00am AEDT (Sunday, 15 October)

Australia v Denmark
Tuesday, 17 October
La Quinta Football Centre, Marbella
Kick-off: 2.30pm (local) / 11.30pm AEDT