Brett Holman believes it is crucial that Australia retains its more experienced players as the national team strives to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The Socceroos have a number of key players well into their 30s, who will only be older once Rio De Janeiro rolls around, but Holman says that the likes of Harry Kewell, Lucas Neill, Brett Emerton, Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer will prove to be invaluable along the journey.
“I see no reason why these players can’t stay involved. If they stay fit and keep their bodies in shape and do the right things I can’t see any problem for them in competing at the top-level and carrying us through the qualification series,” he told The World Game.
“I also see them playing at the next World Cup. Look at somebody like Harry coming back to the A-League. He will be playing fewer games than he was in Europe and the intensity might not be as high, so that’s going to be easier on the body.
“Players like him don’t lose their quality, no matter what league they play in. He’s 32 now and I’m sure he has plenty of great football in him yet and maybe coming back to Australia will benefit him.
“Then you look at Lucas Neill going to play in the Middle East (with Dubai-based Al Jazira) and you realise that he will have given that a lot of thought.
"If look at it geographically, he will be very close to where a lot of our qualification games are being played, which is good for him because that means less travel, which makes things a lot easier and definitely gives him an extra advantage.
“He’s one of those players who has always looked after himself well and I see no reason why anything will change just because he is no longer with Galatasaray (in Turkey).”