Now that the Socceroos (Australia’s football team) have qualified for the world cup, albeit in nail biting fashion once again, Holger Osieck should use this world cup as a platform for the youth players to start a new golden generation. Lets face it, the Socceroos with their current golden generation won’t turn heads at the world cup. We will easily have the oldest crop of players shuffling around in Brazil, I can’t think of any other side that will even come close to the collective age of the Australian team.
Please don’t take this as being disrespectful for all the deeds these mighty players have done for Australian football, not even 10 years ago if you said that Australia would make 3 consecutive world cups you would be committed to the craziest institution you could find.
I have adored seeing players like Kewell, Neill, Cahill, Schwarzer and Bresciano in the green and gold, but with this qualification into the world cup now is the perfect time for these players to hand on the torch to the young guns and see what they can do (with exception to Cahill). Australia isn’t expected to do anything at the world cup and the overall performance of the team during qualification gives those thoughts resounding merit.
We have amazing talent sitting in the wings, quite literally, Tommy Oar and Robbie Kruse where phenomenal in driving us to qualify, mix in future Australian super star Tom Rogic and the attack is looking creative and pacey. With other players such as Chris Herd, Mile Jedinak, Ryan Williams, Rhys Williams, Ryan McGowan and the majority of the U20’s Socceroos to name just a few, the future looks incredibly bright.
With Oar, Kruse and Rogic leading the front, we have quite safe hands at the back in 2 up and coming keepers in Matt Ryan and Mitchel Langerak, both plying their trade in the Bundesliga, the latter apart of Dortmund’s Champions League squad as their number 2 keeper. Unfortunately for the likes of Brad Jones and Adam Federici, the former doesn’t have age on his hands and the latter can’t keep the ball in his.
Schwarzer is an amazing keeper, one of the if not the best keeper to ever put on the gloves for the Socceroos but by the time of next years world cup he will be almost 42. Although still in quite good form what legacy will he leave if he takes this spot, currently Ryan (21) Langerak (24) will most likely sit on the bench which will still benefit them but playing Schwarzer will be more for his sake than Australia’s.
I am not saying there aren’t spots for the likes of Schwarzer, Cahill (still has it), Neill, Bresciano etc,. But it would be to the detriment of Australia’s Footballing future to take a whole squad of senior players who will most likely retire immediately after the world cup.
Mix the seniors with the youth, give the youth some games leading up to the world cup and see who can cut it and deserve to have their place in the squad. With the Asian Football Championships being held in Australia in 2015, that is a tournament we can and realistically be winning, it will bring more fixtures in confederation cup and more exposure to the game in Australia as well as hand us our first ever silverware.
Selection to the Socceroos should not be on your name and what you have done for Australia in the past but on how well you are playing at the moment and what you can do for Australia in the future. Regardless of whom Osieck picks for the world cup all Australians will be cheering them on next year and I am sure we will be all the more tired for doing so!
Written By James Murray, follow him on Twitter @JswMurray