Tuggeranong United FC's centrebacks may look like anyone else lining up in defence for an NPL first grade side, until you hear they are only 17 years old.
Tuggeranong has a track-record of bringing junior players into their senior ranks and teenagers Harrison Buesnel and Tarisayi Mbogo are no different.
In 2019 the pair played together in United's under 16s as the stalwarts in defence, before rejoining forces again this season.
Following a stint of six draws, the side is looking to utilise their young talent for their first win of the season against Canberra Croatia FC on Sunday at 3pm.
Buesnel said the move into first grade last year was very different to his days in the under 16s.
"It's much more physical, and a faster game, with less time on the ball," he said.
"There's some experienced guys in our team, who have been playing for a while, so they help a lot. They talk to you on the field and tell you what to do."
Mbogo agreed the biggest difference in the NPL was the physical side of the game, after he stepped up into the first grade side this season.
"I think the strength part is pretty crazy. Because in 16s we were both pretty big so we were used to bodying everyone, but now everyone else is bigger as well," he said.
Although physicality may be the biggest jump the pair faced, head coach Mitch Stevens said they were not daunted by it on the pitch. As the centre back pairing have held their own in the backline, only conceding the second least goals so far - 13.
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However, their strength in defence has not been reflected on the table. United sit eighth on the ladder with six draws and two losses, whereas Croatia sit second with more losses - five wins and three losses.
Stevens said it was hard, as six consecutive draws was bizarre.
"I think we know how close we are to winning a number of these games. If we try and change too much or stray away from what we do I think that's when the losses start rolling in, so it really is staying the course," he said.
"We're super competitive against every team in this competition, so I think as soon as we get that first win, we're on our way."
He said bringing young players into first grade was always a focus and had contributed to a rarity, life long Tuggeranong players.
"We don't quite have the budget that other clubs do but at the same time it's not something that we envy either. We love the idea of bringing through the young guys," Stevens said.
"And for someone like Harro [Buesnel], who's only ever played football for this club, it's pretty special. And he's not the only one, we've got Cam Doherty and Johnno Turek who have only ever worn green. That's certainly something we're very proud of."
United will be looking for revenge at Kambah on Sunday, after their 4-1 loss in the two sides last meeting in round two.
AT A GLANCE
The NPL fixtures for round nine.
Saturday: West Canberra Wanderers FC v Monaro Panthers FC - 1.15pm, Melrose Synthetic
Saturday: Belconnen United FC v Canberra Olympic FC - 3pm, McKellar Park
Sunday: Tuggeranong United FC v Canberra Croatia FC - 3pm, Kambah 201
Sunday: Tigers FC v Gungahlin United FC - 3pm, Nijong Oval