Football 3 years ago

A-League viable pathway to Socceroos: Ange

  • A-League viable pathway to Socceroos: Ange

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has identified the A-League as a viable pathway to the national team despite only naming three players from the competition in his 23-man World Cup qualifiers squad.

Uncapped Perth defender Josh Risdon will join Melbourne City's Aaron Mooy and Brisbane's 57-capped Matt McKay in Canberra next month for Australia's November 12 clash with Kyrgyzstan, before the scheduled fixture with Bangladesh on November 17.

"I'm somebody who watches between 20 and 30 games a week from all over the world - I can tell you that the A-League standard stacks up really well from my perspective," Postecoglou said.

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"Players who play well in our comp I'll have a look at."

Postecoglou attributed the lack of A-League presence in the team to the fact that the likes of Tomi Juric (Roda JC) and Nathan Burns (FC Tokyo) had left the competition at last season's close.

"That's the consequence of them doing well, so that's why we got the low numbers," he said.

"But if the standard continues to improve over the course of the year I'd be very surprised if more A-League players don't get in the squad ... I'd expect by the end of the year more players will get in."

Postecoglou named Mooy, who has four goals from nine Socceroos caps, as "the most exciting and best player" in the league.

"That hasn't happened for a while.

"That just goes to show that playing in the A-League should be enough motivation for all players to know that they can get themselves to the forefront of the Socceroos."

It's the case for Risdon, the bolter who has long been on Postecoglou's radar and was picked in the extended squad for January's Asian Cup before being cut from the last 23.

The 23-year-old full-back's inclusion is at the expense of Tarek Elrich, who was dropped along with new Manchester City signing Luke Brattan.

For Postecoglou the full-back role is the team's main pitfall and lacks the depth they have in central defence and further up the field.

"We've been tracking him for a while," he said of Risdon.

"It's been a bit difficult with the A-League players and I've been waiting for the season to start to get (a sense of) form.

"That's why now he's played four or five games that are a pretty good start to the year, and it's a good time to bring him in."

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