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COMMENT: Portogruaro's Madaschi Australia's forgotten man

Portogruaro Summaga defender Adrian Madaschi is Australia's forgotten footballer.

The 28-year old has not had a look-in with the national team despite playing regularly in Europe for the past seven seasons.

The Perth-born centre-half left home in 1998 to try his luck overseas, landing in Bergamo, Italy to join Atalanta's youth academy where he spent a few years before going on loan to Monza.

He had limited luck there and the same at his next loan club, Pistoiese, but finally got his big break when he moved to Scotland to join Partick Thistle in 2003.

It was there that Madaschi began to gain recognition and was selected in Australia's Olympic team for the 2004 Athens Games along with winning four caps for the senior team during qualifying for the 2006 World Cup.

After his stint at Partick, Madaschi moved to Dundee United before returning to Italy to join Grosseto whom he then left for Portogruaro where he is now enjoying his time as a regular starter.

But since those international games in 2004, Madaschi has figured just once for the Socceroos - coming on in the second half of the 3-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in Limerick last year despite being a key first team player at the Stadio Pier Giovanni Mecchia.

I wrote yesterday about a midfielder in Italy's Serie B, Carl Valeri, who is a vital ingredient in the Socceroos line-up yet cannot gain a start for Sassuolo in the same division as Madaschi.

It seems to be a mirrored case for Madaschi, who plays a position in which Australia currently lacks stability, is frequently in his clubs first XI but is seldom considered when it comes to Socceroos call-ups whilst Valeri battles with Premier League players and often wins his place for his nation.

This is not a shot at Valeri, as he is a competent player at international level and the article yesterday actually supports him, http://www.tribalfootball.com/comment-it-time-sassuolo-s-valeri-leave-italy-1177341, but more a comparison supporting Madaschi's case.

Not since Tony Popovic and more recently Craig Moore have Australia had a solid centre-half, leaving captain Lucas Neill to hold the fort as the manager experiments with the likes of Jon McKain, Jade North, Matthew Spiranovic, Michael Beauchamp and Mark Milligan among others.

But why doesn't Holger Osieck take a punt and give this solid centre-back the chance he rightly deserves before it gets too late.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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