Thursday, 28 July 2011

Young Socceroos: Individual v Team Performance. We need stars.

Some say Youth tournaments are all about team systems, style of play, and of course they are. They set a tone for the nation's coaches and players - something we are working towards in Australia.

But for fans and for future Coaches they are also about individuals.

Barcelona without Lionel Messi compared to Spain without Messi. I know which team scores more, is more dynamic.

And, of course Australia in 2006, great system, good style. Take away Mark Viduka - what system would we have been able to employ.

And as a Coach you always want that x-factor no matter what level of football you are playing - and internationally it is no different.

So when the young men of Australia are criticised for their style of play - well they won't win the tournament so they should expect flack in this nation - I'll be focusing on the stars.

These 23 players will never all play for Australia but wouldn't it be great if we saw a couple burst through in the next twelve months. It's been along time since a young Harry Kewell or Mark Viduka were so good they had to play for the Socceroos at a young age.

We need it.

The Beijing Olympics was perhaps the most dire showing by one of our young teams - certainly lacked any inspiring players pushing hard for Socceroos spots, although a young Nikita Rukavystya did enough to scare Argentina and give me some hope we had a forward (He's at Hertha Berlin now and still progressing) - but now, finally at the Young Socceroo level we have hope - heaps of it.

Mustafa Amini and Terry Antonis - so much potential and so young they could go to another U20 World Cup.

Kerem Bulet our Asia Cup top scorer. Has the mongrel on and off the field to succeed. There's a lot to like about his performances but this could be his last chance to get back on track - really back on track.

Tommy Oar - well if you haven't read about his prospects where have you been. We are expecting a lot from Tommy in this tournament - or else he'll be the next left back after Michael Zullo!

And two bolters - Bernie Ibini-Isi and Sydney's Dimi Petratos - both have the x-factor and are developing nicely in the A-League. With Matthew Leckie unavailable surely a great opportunity for these prospects.

Throw in Brendan Hamill, Ben Kantarovski and Marc Warren and there's heaps of potential.

With Brent McGrath, already capped at Socceroo level, Matthew Leckie and Steven Lustica not making the trip - this side has real potential to deliver a number of future quality Socceroos - real quality.

There is potential for strong individual performances and potential for a couple for players to really develop into Champions League players in coming years. Last year we had none beyond the Group Stage where the best footballers in the world play.

We need them.

Of course Ecuador, Costa Rica and Spain might put us in our place as a team - and that's the worry - but surely there are a couple in this mob who can give us hope?

We need some stars!

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