Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Tom Sermanni reviews Asian Cup

Jo Burgess back for the Peace Cup.

Matildas Coach Tom Sermanni was in open and reflective mood speaking in Vietnam after the Asia Cup.

"Probably for the first time since taking over I found team selection difficult," said Sermanni.

The Matildas came fourth in the recent Asian Cup suffering losses to Japan, twice, and North Korea. Fourth place is important as it means they will be seeded in the next Asian Cup which serve as World Cup qualifiers.

Despite this achievement the team struggled to match the performances of the recent World Cup in China. Nine players were missing, the heat caused problems and a lack of preparation all contributed to the sides lack of cohesiveness.

"It was frustrating, you know we're under-prepared against countries who have full squads and are in full preparation for the Olympics. They had the cohesiveness within their team that we had going into the World Cup," said Sermanni.

"On the sideline, anytime your team is losing, when we look at 6's and 7's as we did in this tournament, you always want your team to play well, not necessarily to win, obviously you want that as well.

"We switched the team over, swapped it around, it was one of those tournaments, probably for the first time since I've been in charge I found it difficult with team selection and tactics because we were constantly tinkering at the edges to get cohesiveness on the field.

North Korea train and live together 24/7. How can the Matildas hope to compete?

"We need to look at our assets and use them to the best of our ability. We just don't have a structure in or outside of football that will allow us to match the Koreans.

"We've got good support staff, good support mechanisms and we need to use these. We have really good continuity in squads, our players work well together, we've got certain assets others don't and we need to use them well. We'll never be 24/7 unfortunately.

On players performance:

Caitlin Munoz: "Caitlin has been recovering from a constant hamstring injury, it's a wee bit mysterious we're still trying to resolve it.

"We couldn't use her for long periods, if we pushed her too hard she may have got injured again. She was very effective when she came on, but didn't have the match preparation to get through a whole game. Hopefully she'll be able to play more in Korea.

Lauren Colthorpe: Is she a defender or midfielder?

Sermanni laughs, "I don't know to be honest. I had her down as a midfield player, then we put her back in defence, then back in midfield, so she's quite comfortable in either position. She's strong, a good passer a good athlete."

Collette McCallum: Did she match her World Cup performances.

"No, she struggled in the heat. You look back to the Socceroos in these type of conditions and certain players who perform all year round in big leagues, struggle. Collette is our best player, she makes the team play, makes the team blend. When your best players are off form and struggling in the conditions it makes it even harder to get a cohesive unit on the field," added Sermanni.

The Peace Cup.

Australia have drawn USA, Brazil and Italy. That will be tough?

Sermanni ponders a moment, "it's not going to be any easier. Hopefully time together will give us a good base going into Korea. Morale is good, we've never had a problem with that, that's one thing about the Matildas.

"Playing Brazil and USA well it can't get any more difficult.

"Jo Burgess will join the team in Korea, she'll be a big asset to the team."


Anonymous said...

Did you ask him about our other ACT girls, Chapman and Williams?

Eamonn said...

of course, he thought Amy did very well.

and had very high hopes for Lydia in the future.

Anonymous said...

oh cool, thanks for that

alan merson said...

Tom Sermanni!
I hope you read this Tom, do you remember me from our time together at Torquay United almost thirty years ago?

I've just seen you on Sky Sports and you haven't changed a bit ~ pity about the white hair though, mine's not even grey yet!

Anyway, good luck with The Matildas and you can catch up with me on:
would love to hear from you when your busy schedule allows.

Alan Merson ~ London N7