Ange Postecoglou has hailed the continued rise of Socceroos in the top leagues around the world, confident the trend will ensure the national team is a threat at the next World Cup.
Speaking at the announcement of his squad for next month’s FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh, Postecoglou admitted he’s been impressed with the amount of Socceroos now producing on the world stage.
The likes of Mat Leckie, Mat Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Massimo Luongo, Tom Rogic and – more recently - Tomi Juric have become key contributors for their clubs around Europe.
“The pleasing thing for me is post the last World Cup we spoke about how we wanted to have more players playing in the top leagues around the world by the time the next World Cup comes along,” Postecoglou told reporters on Wednesday.
“The progress of the players over the last 12 months has been fantastic. Maty Leckie now is playing in one of the toughest leagues in the world [in the Bundesliga].
“[Socceroos assistant coach] Ante Milicic was over there watching last week and he said the pace and intensity of that league is incredible and Maty’s becoming a really important player...
“Guys like Massimo Luongo, Bailey Wright have gone up a division. Tomi Juric is now three goals in four games in the Dutch first division and that’s not to be scoffed at.
“All these guys are still in their early 20s and we need them to continue to push on and develop their careers because by the time the next World Cup comes along, I really want us to be sitting here with half our squad playing in the top leagues in the world.
“That will mean we’ll be a force.”
Mark Milligan's moving tribute to Caltex Socceroos debutants
Awer Mabil and Thomas Deng were South Sudanese refugees over a decade ago. Earlier this morning they became Caltex Socceroos. It was an incredible milestone for the two childhood friends, who grew up in Adelaide bonding over the love of football. WRAP: Caltex Socceroos o
Focus shifts to home games in November after Kuwait win
With the first test passed with flying colours, Graham Arnold’s Caltex Socceroos will swiftly turn their focus to November’s home friendlies against Korea Republic and Lebanon. Arnold’s tenure got off to a dream start on Tuesday morning (AEDT) with his side strolling to a 4-0
‘It’s a big dream come true’: Mabil, Deng proud to make Caltex Socceroos debuts
Almost a decade ago they were young kids kicking a ball together at the local park, dreaming of playing professional football. Fast forward nine years and good mates Awer Mabil and Thomas Deng made their Caltex Socceroos debuts together in a thumping 4-0 win over Kuwait.
Arnie’s Caltex Socceroos take shape as attacking stars shine
The Graham Arnold era has gotten off to a flying start, less than three months out from the opening game of the Caltex Socceroos’ AFC Asian Cup title defence. Apostolos Giannou, Tom Rogic, debutant Awer Mabil and an own goal were the difference as Australia cruised to a 4-0 wi