Socceroos goalkeeper coach Tony Franken says Burnley’s Alex Cisak is on the national team radar but stressed the shot-stopper needs regular game-time to advance his national team ambitions.
The 25-year-old is currently on the books at the newly promoted English Premier League club and could be considered a chance for the green and gold – especially if he plays regularly with the Clarets in one of the biggest leagues on the planet.
But with Burnley keeper Tom Heaton's fantastic form in his first year at Turf Moor, he is clearly number one at the club ahead of the new season.
Chances of regular football in the Premiership at this point appear slim for the Australian who grew up in Tasmania.
“He’s someone that [we’ve been] monitoring for a number of years, but players need to be playing and they need to be in form and ideally we’d like more goalkeepers playing at the top level [for Socceroos selection],” Franken told the Hobart Mercury.
“It’s great to be involved in the Premier League, but I’d like him to be playing. He might have to decide somewhere down the track [to] drop down to the Championship and play games.
“When you get to 25 and you haven’t played many [senior] games you’re, in terms of game development, only a 21-year-old," he added.
Poland-born Cisak left Australia as a teen and spent a number of years at Leicester City academy before joining Accrington Stanley then Oldham Athletic in 2011 (where he was team-mates with new Western Sydney Wanderers signing Dean Bouzanis).
Cisak was apparently be close to signing with Melbourne Victory but that deal was scuppered when he joined the 'Latics.
He’s also represented Australia at U-20s level in 2009 but with the stellar form of Mark Schwarzer in recent years and Mat Ryan of late in Belgium, chances at Socceroos level have been hard to come by.
After signing in 2013, Cisak is negotiating a new deal with Burnley to keep him at the club beyond this coming season after playing twice last year. Heaton's form was simply too good as the Clarets stormed into the EPL.
However there is encouraging news for another Tasmania product, Sydney FC youth team keeper Tristan Prendergast.
Franken believes the 19-year-old could be in contention for a spot in the Young Socceroos squad for the AFC Under-19 Championships in October, which double as 2015 FIFA Under-20 World Cup qualifiers.
Franken is in Apple Isle this week to co-tutor an advanced Goalkeeping level two course with Football Federation Tasmania’s NTC Head Coach and National Under 20s goalkeeping coach Dean May. The advanced level two course is a requirement for all Hyundai A-League Goalkeeping coaches.
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