Aloisi shielding ALM young gun Botic from hype
Western United coach John Aloisi has taken it upon himself to ensure the hype surrounding Noah Botic's burst of A-League Men goals does not stunt the promising young striker's progression.
The 21-year-old, who drew comparisons to Socceroos legend Mark Viduka as a teenager, has hit the headlines again with three goals in as many appearances.
Those strikes included his first ALM goal, against Adelaide, and a double in a much-needed win over Newcastle which breathed some life into 11th-placed United's flatlining championship defence ahead of Saturday's crunch clash with Perth.
"He's not the type that will get carried away. He still works the same, works hard," Aloisi told reporters on Thursday.
"It's up to me to make sure that the added pressure from the outside and the added hype doesn't affect him.
"He's started five games this season and there's still a lot of learning and improving (to come). He knows that."
Botic trialled with Manchester United as a teenager and reportedly had interest from Bayern Munich and Everton before signing a scholarship deal with Bundesliga club Hoffenheim, but never hit the heights in Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 183cm forward - likened to Viduka by former Socceroos midfielder Paul Reid, who worked with the young gun at NPL outfit Rockdale City - returned to Australia in 2021.
He made a series of appearances off the bench under Aloisi's guidance before earning his first ALM start last month, and has impressed with his maturity under the spotlight.
"He's a really good trainer. No matter what exercise we're doing, he does it to the best of his ability," Aloisi said.
"If that's the way of him dealing with the hype I don't know, but I don't see it affecting him too much.
"It's more (about) us not going on about it.
"He's still starting his career and I wouldn't compare him to anyone else - that's unfair for him.
"He's a player that will hopefully create his own name."
Aloisi believes Botic has the tools to do just that, excited by the Sydney-born striker's understanding of his role and ability to find space in the box.
Botic, the cousin of Socceroos striker Tomi Juric, now has the platform from which to reach his undoubted potential.
"Goals give you confidence and then every time you set foot on the pitch you think you're going to score," Aloisi said.
"But it's not only about that ... he's come up this season against players that have been around a long time and he's been able to cope with it.
"The defenders the other day were kicking him and making sure that he knew he was in for a game, and he didn't shy away from it.
"He got his body in front of the ball and made sure that he held up the ball when he needed to, competed. All those things will give him confidence."