MetroStars coach Robbie Saraceno says striker Tom Strain deserves an A-League opportunity after his eighth goal in as many games fired his side to the top of the table.
The Klemzig club downed Adelaide City 2-0 at Oakden on Saturday to leapfrog the Black and Whites into pole position on the National Premier League SA standings.
Strain opened the scoring in the eighth minute for the visitors, before reigning Sergio Melta Medallist Liam Wooding sealed the triumph in stoppage-time.
Saraceno said ex-Aston Villa youth team hitman Strain had demonstrated his ability to return to the professional ranks following his summer move from Campbelltown City.
“We chased Tom pretty hard based on the fact he scores goals when he gets opportunities,” Saraceno said.
“But not only that, he’s a great character. He works so hard and he does the team stuff as well, harassing and chasing defenders.
“Tom needs to have a really good season in the NPL, then maybe he can progress to the A-League from there.
“But between us and Adelaide City, there’s a lot of players who have the potential to step up (to the national league).
”Strain trained with Adelaide United earlier this year, alongside his younger brother, Ryan, who had broken into the Reds’ first team this season.
He got MetroStars off to a flyer against the Black and Whites, finishing off good work by defender Tim Henderson.
Damian Mori’s men rallied after the interval, but the visitors secured the points from a late City corner.
Matthew Dawber launched a quick break and combined with Wooding, who made no mistake to send MetroStars three points clear at the summit.
“They (City) are a quality side and it was two really good teams facing each other,” Saraceno said.
“We defended quite well and we kept our shape quite well. They had a couple of opportunities to score, but I thought we were good value for a really good result."
“The boys had a really good year last year and they’ve just kicked on from where we left off.
“The result was fantastic, but it’s a week-by-week prospect so we’re not going to get too far ahead of ourselves.”