Joshua Galletly is a 19-year-old midfielder who plays for Melville United in the New Zealand National League. Galletly is a graduate of the Wellington Phoenix academy but was not offered an A-League deal and was ultimately deemed surplus to requirements. It’s fairly common for players who don’t have very good prospects of immediately making the Phoenix first team to strike out on their own. Indeed, one of the things that makes New Zealand an interesting market is the fact that there’s only one professional team that only has so many spots. This means players who are not ready for the A-League right away, but still have potential, often float around in the domestic league for a bit or go to the NCAA before someone picks them up. Some of these players go on to be quite successful and I think Galletly can be one of them.
If there is one word to describe Galletly’s game it would be “direct.” I had the opportunity to see him play in person and I swear he attempted a long ball in behind the defence every single time it was passed to him. But, sometimes these audacious long balls work out. Galletly does have good vision, even if he applies it with a bit of a scattershot approach. Wyscout credits him with 0.22 xA/90 which is quite high for a centre-midfield. Obviously, the trade-off is that his passing accuracy is really low but in the right system that isn’t necessarily a downside. We have seen an increase in “launch and squish” tactics in recent years. Teams will forgo possession to just launch the ball forwards, do their best to win physical battles, and hem the opposition in their own half with pressing in the hopes that the ensuing chaos will lead to good results. Galletly could thrive in a team attempting a really low-budget version of this. He can also shoot the ball really hard. He has scored two goals in the national league phase by just lasering the ball into the goal from a free kick. He’s also not afraid to have a go from open play and occasionally chips the keeper. Galletly is a slightly above-average defender at the New Zealand national league level. He closes players down well and wins a decent percentage of his duels. But he isn’t the strongest physically and that means he doesn’t always win the ball very decisively. He would do well in a pressing system where all he had to do was pressure an opponent into a mistake but I would not be confident in his ability to take on more intense defensive duties than that.
In conclusion: if you are a small team, maybe in one of the less glamorous leagues in the North Atlantic region, that has zero interest in keeping possession and is looking to get it launched with a bit more nuance and precision than average then you should give Galletly a call. In the long term it’s possible he could reach a higher level but I think a small step into a relatively low-level professional league would be best for him at this point.