SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 06:  Anthony Kalik of Sydney FC poses during a joint Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers A-League media opportunity at ANZ Stadium on December 6, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

6 of the Best Emerging Young Talents in the A-League This Season

Australia are heading to their fourth consecutive World Cup in 2018. Their first tournament in this run came in 2006 shortly after the birth of the A-League, which continues to churn out new talent and give opportunities to young players.

As the 2017/18 campaign nears its conclusion, with only playoff semi finals and the Grand Final left to play, here's a look at six of the best talents to have emerged this season...

6. Anthony Kalik (Sydney FC)

Born to Croatian parents in Sydney, Anthony Kalik is currently on loan at Grand Final-chasing Sydney FC from Hajduk Split.

The 20-year-old midfielder is yet to quite make the full A-League breakthrough given the settled quality ahead of him, but still has vast talent. That much was clear when he first represented Australia at Under-20 level as early as 2013 when he was still only 15.

5. Ryan Strain (Adelaide United)

After being promoted to the first-team squad this season and making his debut in November 2017, full-back Ryan Strain didn't miss an A-League game for Adelaide United.

The English-born 20-year-old spent time in Aston Villa's youth ranks and his grandfather is a former professional footballer. He is also versatile enough to operate in midfield when required.

4. Brandon Wilson (Perth Glory)

Midfielder Brandon Wilson was a regular starter for Perth Glory during the first half of the season, before a spell away on international duty for Australia's Under-23 team in January.

Wilson, formerly of Burnley in England, also turned 21 years of age in January, and will now be looking ahead to next season in a bid to further his development.

3. Rahmat Akbari (Brisbane Roar)

Born in Afghanistan and initially raised in Pakistan before settling in Australia with his family at the age of five, emerging forward Rahmat Akbari has been getting A-League chances this season after impressing at youth level.

He celebrated his 18th birthday in February and had been a regular for the Australian Under-17 national team last year.

2. Joe Champness (Newcastle Jets)

After spending some time in Portugal last year, Joe Champness began getting regular chances to play in the A-League after joining Newcastle Jets.

In what is his debut campaign at first-team level, the 20-year-old former Brisbane youth winger has played in all but two of the club's A-League in 2017/18 and has scored five goals as well as bagging two assists. 

1. Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City)

This year, immensely talented Melbourne City midfielder Daniel Arzani has been the subject of an international battle between Australia and Iran.

The 19-year-old creative midfielder, who has managed five combined goals and assists in 16 A-League appearances in the regular season, was born in Iran, but raised in Australia. He has also represented Australia at various junior levels.

First published 13th March 2018; updated 26th April 2018