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Matildas close to sellout at Penrith on Saturday, while ten A-League players tipped for Socceroos friendlies08 November 2018 | FT Editor
We've all read so much about Craig Goodwin's claims for Socceroos selection today, it will be a surprise if he's not picked, won't it?
Ray Gatt writes that Craig Goodwin will be in the squad for the two friendly matches next week, along with Thomas Deng, James Troisi, Terry Antonis, Chris Ikonomidis, Jason Davidson, Rhyan Grant, Josh Brillante, Brandon O’Neill and Riley McGree all “in contention”. Others to be selected are Martin Boyle, Andrew Nabbout and Jamie Maclaren. Arnie is doing the spinning already with Gatt noting that there are “just two friendlies between now and the Asian Cup in January” and he will have had just three games and less than 30 days’ preparation since taking up the role in July.
“A Scotsman who never set foot in Australia”, that is, Martin Boyle, is the headline and also has the chatter going on some radio outlets. Evidently Boyle is teaching himself the Australian national anthem anywhere he can including the bath and car, in his home town of Edinburgh.
A win for Milos Degenek in the Champions League with Red Star Belgrade defeating Liverpool 2-1, but a “bittersweet” ten minutes for PSV's Trent Sainsbury whose deflection handed Tottenham a 2-1win at home.
The Matildas are the hot ticket in town! Forget the Socceroos and their farewell match for Tim Cahill, the match that is heading to a 15,000 sellout is Australia v Chile at Penrith on Saturday. By contrast, ticket sales for the Socceroos friendly v Lebanon ten days later are slow.
While the two matches v Chile are 'friendly', Australia's seeding is on the line in the two games, with the Matildas keen to hang on to sixth position (or better) in order to be one of the top six seeded sides at the World Cup in France next year. This international window is the final one before the Draw takes place on 8 December.
Teenagers Amy Sayer and Princess Ibini (pictured) thought they “were in for a scolding” when pulled aside at a trainig camp last month. Instead, they were told they would get their first start for the Matildas (against England), followed-up by a detailed appraisal of their performances by coach Alen Stajcic when they were in camp for the Young Matildas in Lebanon.
Adelaide United needs just one more win or draw to have bettered their 'unbeaten' streak from their 2015-16 championship season. Key to that is making sure their home games are a “fortress”, with Sunday's match against Perth Glory a good test.
Brisbane Roar want the best possible preparation for their players for the match v Western Sydney Wanderers in Mudgee on Saturday, so they are chartering an aircraft from Sydney to Mudgee for the 275 kilometre journey which is described here as a “six hour” bus ride (must be a very slow bus). The aircraft takes only 19 passengers, which means the players, physio and conditioning coach will be on board, while John Aloisi and the rest of the non-playing group will travel by that slow bus. Have they not heard of Pelican Air???
Melbourne City players are desperate to “atone” for their abysmal loss to Sydney FC, and Warren Joyce is busy sharpening the axe. Quite when and on whom it will fall is unknown, with Lachie Wales, Osama Malik, Rostyn Griffiths, Mark Birighitti, Nathaniel Atkinson, Ramy Najjarine all in the mix. Curtis Good is another, but he is yet to achieve full fitness.
Gatt writes about 18-year-old Newcastle Jets' midfielder, Angus Thurgate, who first played for the team in January when used as a substitute in a match against Brisbane Roar. He subsequently made another six appearances off the bench, took part in the U-19 Asian championship, and “has come along in leaps and bounds”. Gatt says the club has high hopes for him.
Call him old-fashioned, but Tony Popovic has a well known, fanatical attention to detail in everything he does - and it's mostly worked well for him. So it is at Perth Glory also, where the players listen to everything little bit of detail he imparts, and with sleeves rolled-up in preparation for this weekend's clash v Adelaide United.
Western Sydney Wanderers
Good news for Western Sydney Wanderers with new recruit (and Australian in waiting), centre-back Patrick Ziegler, targeting a playing return for round 5 on 23 November, in the match v Newcastle Jets.
Canberra United players have scattered for the international break, with South Africa midfielder Refiloe Jane set to miss at least two games due to the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana, Ellie Carpenter and Maria Jose Rojas to face each other in Australia v Chile matches, and captain Rachel Corsie to play for Scotland v USA in Scotland.
socceroos, matildas, a-league, w-league