Culina looking forward to Netherlands clash

Qantas Socceroo Jason Culina would love the opportunity to defeat the Netherlands in front of a sold-out vocal home crowd at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday 10 October.

Qantas Socceroo Jason Culina would love the opportunity to defeat the Netherlands in front of a sold-out vocal home crowd at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday 10 October.

Having spent the last ten years playing his club football in the Netherlands, making 160 appearances with Dutch clubs Ajax Amsterdam, De Graafschap, FC Twente and PSV Eindhoven including Eredivisie Championships and UEFA Champions League experience, Culina recently returned home to Australia to become the inaugural captain and marquee player of new Hyundai A-League club Gold Coast United.

During his time in Europe, Culina developed an intimate knowledge and understanding of the Dutch style of football which he hopes he will be able to use to help the Qantas Socceroos get a positive result against the 'Oranje' in October.

“When I first heard about the game, it was a great feeling," Culina said today speaking at the Sydney Football Stadium.

“The Netherlands are currently placed third in the FIFA World Rankings behind Brazil (1st) and Spain (2nd).

“For them (Netherlands) to come out to Australia, and for the Australian public to see a top world class team in action, is fantastic for everyone. I think the Australian public is going to see a great game with great players.

“You only have to mention a few names like Arjen Robben, Wesley Snyder and the likes of these world class players. To have them playing in our own backyard is unbelievable."

The international friendly will be the third time that the Qantas Socceroos have faced the Netherlands, with the nations drawing 1-1 in their inaugural meeting in Rotterdam prior to the FIFA World Cup in 2006. In their most recent meeting in Eindhoven last year, the Qantas Socceroos defeated the Netherlands 2-1 courtesy of goals to Harry Kewell and Josh Kennedy.

“To be able to have an advantage over one of the top-ranked teams in the world is absolutely great and we have the two good results against them so far,” continued Culina.

“But every game from now will be a test leading into the World Cup. We-ve got quite a few games scheduled, including Asian Cup qualifiers, and all these games are part of an important preparation, and also a tough fight for all the players that want to be involved in the World Cup.

“For me, and all the Australian players around the world, our goal is to be in the final squad for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

“If we are selected in this match, or any other match between now and South Africa, it is up to us to show Pim Verbeek that we deserve to be there," concluded Culina.

Following the priority purchasing period for members of the Football Family, tickets for this match will be available on sale to the public from 9.00am tomorrow.

The match against the Netherlands will also serve as a warm-up match for a crucial AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Oman to be held in Melbourne on 14 October.

Culina knows how important this game is given the our poor start in the opening two qualifiers.

"It's a very important game against Oman. We are not doing too well at the moment in our Asian Cup qualifying group and we are looking to make that better.

"We need to win games and against Oman in Melbourne we are looking to have a great game and a great win.

"I am sure all the boys are well aware of that and so we-ll be going out there to win."

Tickets for the Oman game went on public sale today through

Tickets for the Netherlands game went on public sale today through

Click here for more information on both games