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Socceroos

The "search for depth" ($) in the Socceroos has resulted in 27 men being named in the squad (23 + four 'train-on' members) for the international friendlies later this month. That includes Scottish born Martin Boyle whose paperwork was completed last week. Ray Gatt had most of the squad yesterday. This brings to 39 the total number of players Arnold has so far named in his Socceroos squads.

Arnold hinted that Craig Goodwin is "in the frame" for selection in the 'full squad' as he gives the Socceroos "something completely different". Goodwin is one of four train-on players who will be in the training camp, but not necessarily in the squad, for the games. The other three are Dimi Petratos, Thomas Deng and Rhyan Grant. Arnold is again at his spinning best with Gatt writing that it's a "mountainous challenge" ($) to defend the Asian Cup despite the "odds [being] stacked against him", but he's excited about the challenge.

Austria's loss is Australia's gain, with Vienna-born James Jeggo named in the Socceroos squad by Arnold, just when he was also being considered by Arnold's Austrian counterpart, Franco Foda. (There are other A-League and related items in this link also).

It's not the back three that occupies Arnold's mind, but the front three with a plan to use a three-striker formation emulating some of the big European clubs. (This was reported by another outlet about a week ago). 

The squad is: Mustafa Amini, Aziz Behich, Martin Boyle, Milos Degenek, Alex Gersbach, Jackson Irvine, James Jeggo, Tomi Juric, Matthew Jurman, Robbie Kruse, Mitchell Langerak (GK), Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Awer Mabil, Jamie Maclaren, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Andrew Nabbout, Josh Risdon, Tom Rogic, Mathew Ryan (GK), Trent Sainsbury, Daniel Vukovic (GK). The train-on-players are: Thomas Deng, Craig Goodwin, Rhyan Grant, Dimitri Petratos.

FFA has "reached out" to Celtic to suggest that Daniel Arzani come home for part of his rehab, but according to Arnold, Celtic coach Brendan Rodgers would prefer Arzani to stay close to the club for the early part of his recovery. Earlier in the week it was reported that Arzani's treatment was being supervised by Manchester City, which is the club that has loaned Arzani to Celtic. 

A-League

Various snippets of items here in the weekly A-League Confidential including something we touched on earlier in the week, that is, that the HQ of the new independent A-League is pencilled-in for Melbourne.

15 goals in the first season? 27 the next? Some players might have flinched, but not Adam le Fondre writes Gatt. Le Fondre says he was excited by the challenge of filling Bobo's boots, and he's enjoying it so far with a goal-a-game and already a fan favourite. 

One player who missed out on a spot in the 27 players named by Arnold in the Socceroos squad is Brisbane Roar's Adam Taggart who says he is not deterred and is out to prove that he is good enough. Coach John Aloisi says Taggart is looking sharp and expects a big game from him against Western Sydney Wanderers in Mudgee this weekend.

The man who will become the eighth to play 250 games in the A-League, Tarek Elrich of Western Sydney Wanderers, wasn't quite sure where Mudgee is on the map but he says he's  honoured to reach the number (if selected) and be amongst an elite group. To assist Elrich in knowing he's at the right place, our featured picture is of Glen Willow Field in Mudgee. 

P.S. If you're travelling to Mudgee for the A-League match, you might want to support 200 Bales.

Steven Taylor from Wellington Phoenix says he is prepared to deal with A-League attacks this season, but he expects none of them to be quite as good as one of his former teammates at Newcastle United, Mark Viduka. "Viduka was an animal. For a big fella he was great with his feet – he had a big arse, when that arse gets into ya, you aint moving it,. I was a young kid at the time, having him coming in and helping us, was a good guy. Him and (Alan) Shearer were brilliant to be around and he’s a legend."

Video clip here from The West discussing Perth Glory's match against Adelaide United in Adelaide on Sunday. 

Matildas

How young is too young? Good and interesting read here on the age at which young players are too young to be called into a senior national team. The current debate has been sparked by 15-year-old Mary Fowler, but the women's national team have always 'blooded' mid-teen teenagers are full Matildas. The most famous young player (at 15 years and 150 days) is Sam Kerr who is seen as "bucking the trend" in terms of mental health issues, eating disorders and self-esteem issues. 

Indigenous talent

Football must put more resources into identifying and developing Indigenous talent, writes David Davutovic. Yes. Some of us have been saying (and trying to do something about) this for more than a decade. 

Coaching foes

First, it was Ernie (Merrick) v Kevin (Muscat), now it's Ernie v Mark (Rudan). Rudan has reacted to Merrick's criticism ($) of Wellington Phoenix's style of play (shared by us here earlier in the week) by saying it was "somewhat disrespectful" of Merrick to speak in the pejorative about Phoenix, especially as he had coached there for three years and his team was beaten by Wellington Phoenix in round 1. 

The weekend's matches

FRIDAY

  • Melbourne City v Wellington Phoenix, AAMI Park, 7.50pm Local & AEDT

SATURDAY

  • Australia v Chile (Women), Penrith Stadium, 3.30pm Local & AEDT
  • Western Sydney Wanderers v Brisbane Roar, Glen Willow Field, Mudgee, 5.35pm Local & AEDT
  • Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC, McDonald Jones Stadium, 7.50pm Local & AEDT

SUNDAY

  • Adelaide United v Perth Glory, Coopers Stadium, 4.30pm Local, 5pm AEDT
  • Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners, AAMI Park, 7pm Local & AEDT

socceroos, matildas, a-league, indigenous football, football development, mudgee

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