Socceroos Coach Ange Postecoglou’s European scouting mission has opened the door to the possibility of four debutants facing Ecuador in London.
Socceroos Coach Ange Postecoglou-s European scouting mission has opened the door to the possibility of four debutants facing Ecuador in London.
Curtis Good (Dundee United), Chris Herd (Aston Villa), Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town) and Ben Halloran (Fortuna Dusseldorf) have been included in Postecoglou-s 23-man squad, the quartet have all represented Australia at U20 level but could see their first action for the game against the Ecuadorians.
With an average age of just over 21, Postecoglou has identified these four talented youngsters as prospective pieces for his next golden Socceroos generation.
Curtis Good DOB: 23-Mar-1993 (Melbourne) Age: 20 Position: Defender Current Club: Dundee United (Scotland) - on loan from Newcastle United
Beginning his senior career with Melbourne Heart in 2011, Good signed a six year deal with Newcastle United in July the following year. Since joining the Magpies, he went loan to Bradford City in November 2012 before going on a loan spell to Dundee United, where he has made four appearances to date for The Terrors.
What Ange had to say: “I watched Curtis play with the (Australian) U22-s in Oman, which was a really important tournament for us, and I thought he was a standout.”
“I had a brief chat to him saying he had to get himself some regular football because I really see him as somebody who can be an outstanding defender for us in the future.
“The pleasing thing is he has got himself a club, he has played regularly the last two or three weeks with Dundee United and as I said he-s one for the future but also one for the present.
I-m hoping if I give him some exposure at international level it kind of kick starts his career at domestic level.”
Chris Herd DOB: 4-Apr-1989 (Perth) Age: 24 Position: Midfielder Current Club: Aston Villa (England)
At 16 years of age Herd went straight from local West Australian club Bayswater City to English Premier League club Aston Villa. A graduate of Villa-s Academy, Herd made his Premier League debut against Manchester United as a late substitute in a 2-2 draw at Villa Park in November 2010.
Referred to in his profile on Aston Villa-s website as ‘Villa-s Mr Versatile-, Herd has played in a range of positions and is a more than capable right back. Injury has prevented him from a chance of making his Socceroos debut earlier after he was called up in 2011 and again in August 2012. Has also had loan spells at Port Vale, Wycombe Wanderers and Lincoln City.
What Ange had to say: “Chris is probably one where I-ve made the exception of playing regularly, probably because he-s rated very highly at Villa. I spoke to people at Villa about him, he-s had his injury problems and it looks like he has overcome those.
“He hasn-t played yet but with this being our only camp between now and the World Cup, I was really keen to bring him in and have a look at him, and he-s keen to get involved.”
Massimo Luongo DOB: 25-Sep-1992 (Sydney) Age: 21 Position: Midfielder Current Club: Swindon Town (England)
Born to an Italian father and an Indonesian mother, Luongo-s time at NSW club APIA Leichhardt ended when he went on trial with Tottenham Hotspur which led to his resultant signing for the English Premier League club in January 2011.
After initially being loaned out to Swindon, on August 2013 he signed a permanent contract with The Robins tying him to the League One club for three years. Luongo has played two games for the Young Socceroos (U20) and has also been part of Socceroos training camps in Europe.
What Ange had to say: “I watched Massimo play for Swindon, again a young player with promise who hasn-t been around the national team before.
“I guess more for him is to get him around the national team and see how he fits into our culture. Certainly he-s a talented young player doing the hard yards in league one, a difficult league, but he-s playing regularly so I wanted to get a good look at him.”
Ben Halloran DOB: 14-Jun-1992 (Cairns) Age: 21 Position: Forward Current Club: Fortuna Dusseldorf (Germany)
Having initially impressed at the now defunct Gold Coast United in the Hyundai A-League, Halloran joined Brisbane Roar on a three year deal in 2012. He then made the move to Europe in May last year as he signed with Fortuna Dusseldorf, where he has made 13 appearances so far for the club that now currently competes in Germany-s second division. On February 11 he scored his second goal in his 12th appearance of the season as Fortuna drew 1-1 with 1860 Munich.
What Ange had to say: “Ben Halloran has been going pretty well in the German second division.
“Again he-s one with an eye to the future but with us being in Europe and the game being in Europe it-s a good chance to bring him in and have a look at him under these sorts of circumstances.”
Now it-s up to the four to prove to Postecoglou they have what it takes to mix it on the international stage and repay the faith from the gaffer. Who knows, they could be among the next lot of household names of Australian football.
“With all of these four it is a matter of indoctrinating them into national team football and seeing how they fit in,” Postecoglou concluded.
“Certainly if they do well they-ll have a good chance to stake their claims for a World Cup spot.”
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