Budding soccer stars at Overnewton College are getting a first-hand look at what it’s like to train as a professional.

Through the school’s relationship with A-League club Melbourne City, its training program has City assistant coach Joe Palatsides at the helm – and he’s excited by what he sees.

“They’re a really talented group and that’s been one of the real highlights,” Palatsides said.

“Overnewton has been one of Melbourne City’s affiliate schools for a while … it’s one of the few soccer-oriented schools, not Aussie rules, so the kids were hungry to succeed and get access to some of City’s youth league coaches.

“We treat them the same as we do our youth and senior sides at City, so the Overnewton boys get a taste of an elite training program, which really helps them.”

Palatsides said the benefits were huge for the players and the club, including opportunities for higher honours for the Keilor college’s players.

“It gives us at City a bigger pool of players to have a look at,” he said. “A number of boys have been asked to come and train and trial for City.

“It is a two-fold benefit. The boys get a better level of coaching and training, which will make them better players, and we as a club get to scout players that we might not have otherwise seen.”

Overnewton year 11 student Dylan Pierias has signed with City, while Ben Pierias and Peter Marinkovic are training with City’s under-18 development squad.