New Socceroo leadership vital for Brazil, says Ange

Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou says he could see leadership qualities in Mile Jedinak from a young age and declared the midfielder the outstanding choice to lead Australia to the World Cup.

Jedinak was officially unveiled as the new Socceroos skipper on Wednesday at an announcement at the team's hotel on the NSW Central Coast.

The 29-year-old, who will have veterans Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano as his vice-captains, will become the fourth Socceroos skipper at a World Cup following on from Peter Wilson (1974), Mark Viduka (2006) and Lucas Neill (2010).

With the Socceroos facing a huge task in Brazil against Spain, Netherlands and Chile, Postecoglou said this leadership group gave him confidence they could pull off a few shocks at the World Cup.

"We've got a fairly young and inexperienced group going to World Cup but still some wonderfully experienced players in the this group," the Socceroo boss said.

"It gave me belief what's ahead of us is achievable particular with these three guys driving it.

"All three are outstanding individuals and have given great service to country and their own stories embodied what Australian football is all about."

Postecoglou said the decision was a significant day for the new-look Socceroos and admitted Jedinak's superb season with Palace made it an easy decision.

Jedinak, who made his Socceroos debut in 2008, has made 43 senior appearances for the national team, scoring four goals.

He played almost every minute of Crystal Palace’s 38 game EPL season, only limping off in the 59th minute of their final match 10 days ago with a groin strain.

Postecoglou worked with Jedinak at Australian under-20- level and could always spot captaincy material in the midfielder. 

"Even from back then he was a determined guy," Postecoglou said.

"Everyone has their own personality but leadership is about being yourself.

"When you put someone in a leadership role and they start changing their personality, people read through it pretty quickly. With Mile, what you see is what you get.

"He was always been a determined footballer, who fought hard his whole career. He leads from front and inspires people around him.

"If you've got your captain and your two leaders putting their hand up in the heat of battle the other players are more likely to take a step forward as well."

However, the former Central Coast Mariners and Genclerbirligi star failed to train on Wednesday and remains in serious doubt for Monday's farewell friendly against South Africa.

And there are concerns the match won't provide a stern enough test for the Socceroos, with Bafana Bafana expected to bring a weakened line-up to Australia.

Postecoglou disagreed.

"It's a funny one. I'm yet to see anyone put on national team jersey and not play well, whatever country, whatever nationality, and whatever stage in life they are in.

"When you put that shirt on, whoever represents them will want to do it well.

"We'll deal with what we have to but from our perspective, our objective in games is the way we want to play.

"With limited amount of games between now and World Cup we're not going to waste any minute worrying about things we can't control."

Postecoglou also confirmed central defender Curtis Good would miss the South Africa clash as he is still short of full fitness following a hip flexor injury suffered against Ecuador in March.

Send Off the Socceroos

Socceroos vs South Africa, presented by NAB

Monday 26 May 2014
ANZ Stadium, Sydney 
Kick-off: 7.30pm
Tickets are from $30 including public transport. Buy now!