Young Socceroos coach Paul Okon believes Australia’s best youngsters need to play more games if they are to reach their full potential.
Speaking in the aftermath of the Young Socceroos’ 2-1 loss to the USA on Tuesday night, Okon said Australian players are not sufficiently exposed on both the domestic and international stage.
“Most of these boys haven’t played football for two and a half months. Not only are we playing against a very good opposition but we’re also playing against ourselves,” Okon said.
“It’s something that has to change in this country unfortunately. These players are talented, they’re the future of this country but they just don’t play enough football.
“Liam Rose I thought was outstanding. He’s the perfect example of a super talented kid but if he’s only going to play five games a year then he’s not going to get to the level we hope and believe he can get to.”
Stefan Mauk gave the Young Socceroos an early lead against the USA under-20 national side, before the visitors struck twice early in the second half to overpower a tiring Aussie outfit.
Okon admitted he was disappointed with the result but said he was impressed with his young side’s performance against a vastly more experienced opponent.
“Getting these sort of games at any time is always great but to have them here in Australia is even better,” he said.
“It gives the boys an opportunity to play international football. It’s something that we don’t think we have enough of so it’s a great experience for our young players.“The result is disappointing because I don’t think we deserved to lose the game. It’s a learning moment for the younger boys.”
Aussies Abroad: Rogic stars in clash of Caltex Socceroos, Ryan and Mabil impress
In-form Caltex Socceroos star Tom Rogic produced a man-of-the-match performance in Celtic’s 4-2 Scottish Premiership win over Hibernian on Sunday morning (AEDT). Rogic - who netted in Australia’s 4-0 friendly win over Kuwait on Tuesday - scored an outstanding goal and then pro
Milicic ‘extremely proud’ of Young Socceroos comeback
Young Socceroos boss Ante Milicic praised his side’s “strong Australian mentality” after they battled back to salvage a 1-1 draw in their AFC U-19 Championship opener against Korea Republic. Melbourne City’s Ramy Najjarine came off the bench to score a stunning 89th-minute equ
Update to Young Socceroos squad for AFC U19 Championship
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has confirmed on Friday a change to the Young Socceroos squad that is competing at the 2018 AFC U19 Championship in Indonesia. Young Socceroos coach Ante Milicic has brought in Melbourne City FC’s Connor Metcalfe to replace Western Sydney Wa