Bosnich: Go there to win
The golden child of Australia's famed 1991 Qantas Young Socceroos campaign, ex-international goalkeeper Mark Bosnich, had a clear but massive challenge for the current squad as its prepared to embark for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup on Monday.
The golden child of Australia's famed 1991 Qantas Young Socceroos campaign, ex-international goalkeeper Mark Bosnich, had a clear but massive challenge for the current squad as its prepared to embark for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup on Monday - "Don't go there to make up the numbers - go there to win."
Bosnich's team, which also featured future Qantas Socceroos Paul Okon, Kevin Muscat, Steve Corica and Tony Popovic, made the semi-finals of the '91 tournament in Portugal, setting a new benchmark for national under-age teams to emulate or better.
None has managed to top The Class of '91 but the current crop is determined to leave a mark on this year's tournament in Egypt, which will run from September 24-October 16.
This despite being drawn in the 'Group of Death' alongside international heavyweights Brazil, 2007 runner-up the Czech Republic and CONCACAF champions Costa Rica.
With Bosnich's ultimatum ringing in his ears as the squad was farewelled at a function held at the Qantas centre of excellence, striker Mitch Nichols told Sportal his team was capable of defying the odds and getting through the first phase of qualifying.
"We want to go there and play some good football and show what we've been doing the last 18 months and show it's good enough to match it with some of these teams," said Nichols, who has scored nine goals in 13 appearances for the Qantas Young Socceroos.
"It's a hard group but if we can get out of it then anything can happen after that."
"We've got a good squad and the boys are coming in with a bit of confidence and hopefully we can perform and show what we can do."
Fellow striker Kofi Danning added: "We've got big expectations of getting past the first round but we're not going to put pressure on ourselves."
"We're going to go there and try and do as well have in the lead-up tournaments and hopefully we can get through."
The Under 20s World Cup also doubles as a casting call for the planet's best young footballers - a point not lost on Nichols.
"There is no better opportunity than a World Cup to show what you've got," he pointed out.
"We're at an age group where a lot of club are looking for young players they haven-t seen before."
"Hopefully we can go there and play well and something might come out of it."
The Australians, under coach Jan Versleijen, kick off their campaign against the Czechs in Port Said on September 27.