Byron Bay FC take SYL crown three years in a row

The undefeated 2019 Summer Youth League championship winners: The Byron Bay Rams.

Chris Layland

Byron Bay FC have sealed their third-consecutive Summer Youth League (SYL) title with a 5–0 win over Tintenbar.

With South Lismore defeating Goonellabah earlier in the day, the Rams knew all they needed was a two-goal victory to take the title.

A hat-trick to Zahi Addis and a double from Harry Barlow ensured the Rams kept their status as the leading youth development club on the Far North Coast.

Byron’s record now stands at six SYL Premierships with 2019 one of the tightest in the competition’s 12-year history. Byron Bay, South Lismore and Alstonville all finished the season undefeated with the Rams’ superior goal difference earning them the trophy.

It’s also the third year of a successful captain-coach relationship between myself (Chris Layland) and Alex Kempnich, the on-field general.

The SYL is an U/20 competition that exists to bridge the gap between youth and senior football. Up to three overage players can be selected to raise the standard, and pass on lessons during training and matches.

Byron generally only played one overage player each match. 

This season, Byron had a particularly young team with 10 players between the ages of 14-16 years (including golden boot winner Zahi Addis). 

Winning the SYL capped off a successful year for Byron’s High Performance Program (HPP). 

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