Why Socceroo fans will be key at the Asian Cup

​You can debate squad selections; coaches; philosophies; form; conditions; confidence; pressure; formations; weaknesses; strengths and tactics.

And as the media we do this all the time. And these are all valid pointers to how teams might go in the Asian Cup, which blasts off here in Oz on January 9. 

These pointers may or may not have an actual influence on any given teams’ progress in the Cup. But guess what? As a supporter of the national team, you can make a real difference. You can play your part in pushing the Socceroos onto success. 

Want an example? Twenty one years ago, current Socceroo assistant coach Ante Milicic was a star striker with the Young Socceroos. 

And Australia, as host nation of the FIFA Youth World Championships (later renamed the FIFA U-20 World Cup), revelled in supporting a new and exciting national youth team.

The Kevin Muscat led Aussies, also featuring a young Craig Moore alongside Musky, rode the wave of public support to make it all the way – and beyond expectations – to the semi-finals. It was one of the biggest stories around at that time. 

It was a tournament to remember. The support of our team was memorable and the players said later they felt it. 

The Young Socceroos utilised the power of home support to famously defeat Russia and Colombia in the group stages before a hectic victory in the quarter-finals over Uruguay at Suncorp. 

Australia was 90 minutes from the final. Tournament winner Brazil ended Australia’s chances at the old Olympic Park in the semi-final but the Aussies had made a statement. A talented group whose momentum fed off the public's fantastic support for them. 

Not on home soil but ask the Socceroos of FIFA World Cup 2006 and they’ll tell you about ‘force’ driving them on from the terraces across Germany. Likewise in Brazil last June. Seeing, feeling the green and gold fans has a power.

It’s the sort of power that picks you up, drives you on, gives you that extra 5% of energy to make that last-ditch tackle, a tracking run in time added on when your legs are gone, a brave header when you know the keeper is punching the ball. To push through the pain barrier when it’s needed most.

It’s a special and powerful force.

And here we are, like 1993, hosting a major tournament in Australia in 2015. 

We have a golden opportunity to harness the power of the Aussie public again by packing the stadiums and making the most of our natural advantage as hosts. 

As the Socceroos strive to make their own history and follow in the footsteps of the Westfield Matildas who won the Asian Cup four years ago on foreign soil in China, I’ll be in the media box and not on the terraces this January. 

But I look at my Socceroo jersey and all I feel is pride. And passion. And love. 

So yell and scream for those who can't be there amongst it all and help write another special chapter in the national team's extraordinary history. Support the green and gold like your life depended on it from the first game against Kuwait at AAMI Park on January 9. 

You can make a difference. 

Make sure you get your family and friends together and RISE with the Socceroos! Tickets are available by clicking here www.socceroos.com.au/tickets

 Join us on our journey throughout the AFC Asian Cup 2015 in January by downloading the Official Socceroos app! Download the app through the App Store or Google Play store, or CLICK HERE