Jordan Bos: City's Jamieson 2.0 waiting in the wings
Jordan Bos has been a hot topic in recent weeks.
The 18-year-old, who first arrived at Melbourne City’s academy in 2016, received a three-year contract extension in late September, a promising sign of both the individual’s promise and the new landscape for player contracts as we see long-term deals with increasing regularity.
Last week, Bos was also named to the Olyroos’ 21-man squad, alongside Taras Gomulka, to take on Indonesia in Tajikistan, with qualification to the 2022 U23 Asian Cup on the line. This achievement is particularly impressive for a player who has not yet made his A-League debut and speaks both to his performances in the NPL and the regard to which he is held both by City and national selectors.
Following Ben Garuccio’s move to Western United over the off-season and City’s decision not to sign a senior replacement, it appears as though Bos could be next in line in the team’s full-back rotation and that an A-League debut could be on the horizon for the soon-to-be 19-year-old.
As a place in the spotlight beckons, here’s a brief overview of Bos as a player based on a limited observation period from the opening third of the 2021 NPL 3 season – injury ruled him out for much of the remainder of the already COVID-disrupted campaign.
Bos is a conventional left-footed left full-back who embodies the industrious work rate typical of players occupying this position. As a youngster, Bos possesses the necessary pace to bomb up and down the flanks and compete against fleet-footed wingers without quite being lightning quick himself, so to speak. The pace he does possess is especially useful for bursting past an opponent on the dribble, as will be touched on a little later.
Despite his tender age, Bos’ solid physical profile should hold him in good stead to adapt to A-League life. The fullback is strong enough to bustle for possession against pacey wingers, often initiating contact to secure dominant position within one-on-one contests. Whilst a quick internet search provides conflicting reports on his height – from 5’7” to 5’10” – you’d be inclined to believe the latter from observation, particularly because he is also able to compete well aerially against bigger, stronger opponents.
Playing as a traditional ‘outside’ back, Bos excels at progressing the ball in wide areas, with one of his most appealing traits being his mesmerising, gliding dribbles to skip past opponents. The 18-year-old evades would-be tacklers with gorgeous soft touches to shift the ball quickly between his feet, creating a slalom effect that is hard to avert your gaze from. This ability can be no better exemplified than by his impressive individual goal in the extended-squad curtain-raiser against Bentleigh Greens from last pre-season.
These mazy runs, in addition to an as yet unrefined positional awareness, can lead to Bos occasionally getting caught out of position and forced into hurried recovery runs, with City’s burgeoning full-back not possessing Liberato Cacace-levels of pace to be able to make up this ground on a consistent basis.
Similarly contrary to his position as a wide defender, Bos wasn’t a frequent crosser of the ball throughout the observation period, undermining a recent trend in the global game of chance creation from full-back positions.
Where the defender does do his best work, however, is in the inside channels, where he utilises quick one-two moves to bypass opposition midfielders in combination with those gliding dribbles. It’s for this reason that his first-team prospects appear so bright; he’s already being moulded to fit the Scott Jamieson inverted full-back role. Under former NPL head coach and current senior assistant Petr Kratky, who likely acted to fulfil a directive to emulate Patrick Kisnorbo’s first-team system, Bos would defend wide whilst out of possession but tuck inside once City were on the ball. Here, the defender would operate alongside Taras Gomulka to provide a central passing outlet to assist with City’s ball movement into the opposition half.
With Garuccio now out of the picture, Bos likely enters City’s full-back rotation in 2021/22 and should be trusted by fans to provide serviceable cover for Jamieson in the instance that fellow depth option Scott Galloway is also required to start. Beyond that, with Jamieson having just turned 33 and his understudy Bos earning a contract that will run until 2025, it appears that the future of City’s long-term left-back stocks is in safe hands.