Australia boss Postecoglou looking to build next ‘golden generation’

Ange Postecoglou is determined to develop Australia’s next ‘golden generation’ following a lull in improvement in the national team in recent years.

Ange Postecoglou is determined to develop Australia’s next ‘golden generation’ following a lull in improvement in the national team in recent years.

The Socceroos boss has named a 23-man squad for next month’s friendly with Ecuador in London with the overriding theme being inexperience and youthful exuberance.

Postecoglou has selected such players as 21-year old Swindon Town midfielder Massimo Luongo, 20-year old Newcastle United defender Curtis Good, who is on loan at Dundee United, and 21-year old Fortuna Dusseldorf winger Ben Halloran in his roster to take on the South American nation at The Den in Bermondsey.

Add to that little-used Socceroos like Brad Jones from Liverpool, James Holland from Austria Vienna, Ryan McGowan from Shandong Luneng and Tom Rogic from Celtic, via Melbourne Victory, and you have a potential changing of the national team guard.

That is something that Postecoglou is trying to achieve after some lean years following the success of the Guus Hiddink-coached team who made the knockout phase of the 2006 World Cup.

“The squad to face Ecuador represents the first steps in what I believe is the building of the next golden generation for Australian football acknowledging there is a need to balance experimentation and experience to achieve this,” said Postecoglou who led the Socceroos to a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in November in his first game in charge.

“The Ecuador match gives this group of players an opportunity to stake a claim for the World Cup. They have been rewarded for playing consistent and strong football and shows that age and limited international experience are not barriers to opportunity.

“I was encouraged by what I saw on my scouting trip (to Europe and the Middle East) and what I’ve been watching in the A-League and other parts of the world and I’m confident that with courage and belief we can face the challenges ahead and not waver from our long term plan.”

The friendly with Ecuador represents Australia’s last fixture before Postecoglou names his provisional 30-man World Cup squad in mid-May.

 
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