The Socceroos 2-1 victory against South Korea in their friendly match in Hwaseong will have no impact on their World Cup qualification process, but should the Socceroos progress through, we may look back on this match as a turning point for several young stars. There have been doubts raised about Socceroos’ depth, and the reliance on an aging core group of stars has begun offering smaller returns, with our current World Cup qualification suffering from inconsistent form.
If the Socceroos management are one thing, they’re loyal. With Aussie legends such as Lucas Neil, Tim Cahill, Mark Schwarzer, and Harry Kewell veterans of two World Cup campaigns already, the Socceroos are in desperate need of blooding new and emerging talent that can cover our current starts and mature into stars of the future. The need to develop emerging talent has never been more urgent then in the wake of the shock 2-1 loss to Jordan and the last minute 2-1 get out of jail win against Iraq.
Against an equally youthful South Korean team, it was the Socceroos first victory in Korea in 40 years. It wasn’t especially slick or convincing at times but it was an extremely hard-fought come-from-behind win against quality opposition. The importance of the match in terms of development was not lost on Soccoroos coach Holger Osieck “I think it was good to win on the road but when you look at the team, I’m very surprised how well the boys did,” Osieck said. “And not only the ones who got their first cap today, even those who don’t usually have much playing time.”
“Everybody (did well) … I’m very happy for those boys. I think we saw a lot of very positive elements that give us a lot of hope for the future.”
Here’s three guys we think you should keep an eye out for.
Considered a prodigious talent since bursting on the A-League scene as a 17-year-old with the Brisbane Roar, Oar has been a regualr starter in the Australian U-20’s and been a fringe Soceroo since his impressive debut against Indonesia in 2009. As an extremely zippy attacking midfielder, Oar is continuing to offer more and more creative flair for the Soccoroos. He’s currently playing in his third season for FC Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Much like Oar a couple of years ago, Rogic has only just burst onto the scene and has signaled himself as a young player with huge potential. Again, like Oar, the Central Coast Mariners attacking midfielder greatest asset is his creativity which will add another dimension to the Soccoroos play should he kick on like we all hope. Traditionally dogged defenders, the Soccoroos would dearly love to see both Oar and Rogic to grow into regular starters.
Making his debut last night off the bench, the fiery young striker was only a coat of paint away from scoring his first international goal after his strike (which would have been the winner) hit the woodwork. After two impressive seasons with the Melbourne Heart, Babalj moved over to Serbian team Red Star Belgrade where he is on the verge of cementing a starting spot. Tall and quick, Babaalj is equally adept off the boot as he is off the head.
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