It has been quite a while since we have been able to get excited about the quality of Australian football players, but it looks like a few stars are emerging.
Obviously, the first name on everyone’s lips should be Aaron Mooy (26). The Manchester City midfielder is starring on-loan for Huddersfield, who are now one game away from promotion to the Premier League.
Mooy has a host of clubs who are interested in signing him and Pep Guardiola commented favourably on him recently. He will be playing in the EPL next season and it’s just a matter of knowing for which club.
The next name to hit the headlines recently is Jackson Irvine (24). He has pretty much kept Burton Albion in the Championship single-handedly with his ten goals and he has also scored for the Socceroos, long may that continue.
Both of these players have won their club’s Player of the Year awards so our midfield is looking very good. Add to that Tom Rogic (24), Mark Milligan (31), Mustafa Amini (24), Mile Jedinak (32) and Massimo Luongo (24) and we have an incredible amount of depth in midfield. With most of them being in their 20s we have longevity as well if they can stay fit.
Our goalkeepers have always been world class when you look at names like Mark Bosnich and Mark Schwarzer. Today’s names are not that far behind.
Matt Ryan (25) has been our number one for a while now. After signing for Valencia he went on a lean spell but is now doing very well in Belgium with Genk. Mitch Langerak (28) is playing regularly in Germany, for VfB Stuttgart who are in the second division.
Then we have Brad Jones (35) who has been on fire for Feyenoord and helped them win their first title for 18 years. It’s safe to say our goalkeeper situation is well covered.
At the pointy end we have relied on Superman aka Timmy Cahill to score goals for so long now it’s hard to know what we are going to do when he is gone. Tomi Juric (25) is looking good and would suit as a target man laying off to Jamie Maclaren or going himself. It sounds good on paper, although it would not suit our formation.
Robbie Kruse (28) and Mathew Leckie(26) are good players on the wing and we have Brandon Borrello (21) and Tommy Oar (25) as well, who are capable backups with a lot of potential. There is definitely room for improvement but Juric and Maclaren are both young and will develop further.
Add names such as Nathan Burns (28) and Apostolos Giannou (27) and there are plenty of players in the mix. Yet none have really set the world alight at international level yet.
Defence is a bit of a worry, however. Brad Smith (23) is our number one left back but he is not getting much game time for Bournemouth and needs to address this. Alex Gersbach (20) is his biggest challenger, playing regularly for Rosenberg in the Norwegian Eliteserien and helping them win the Super Cup.
Josh Risdon (24) has got a look in recently and performed well at right back. He is competing with Ryan McGowan (27), who is playing in China, and Milos Degenek (23), who is in Japan.
In the centre we have Bailey Wright (24), playing for Bristol City in the championship, Trent Sainsbury (25), who is not getting much game time at Inter Milan, and Matt Spiranovic (28), who also plays in China. Degenek can play centre defence as well.
While we may be relatively weak in defence and up front, the players are still young and have bright futures ahead of them.
If the younger players can develop further, get good tough competition in quality leagues then we will have a very talented side who could well cause some upsets in the next few years.