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The best of the rest (A-League Olyroos edition)

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Roar Guru
29th July, 2021

The best of the rest is a squad comprising 18 Australian A-League players that played in the A-League in season 2020/21.

They are players that weren’t a part of Graham Arnold’s Olyroos squad and it is a hypothetical exercise. Irrespective of this team being full of players that had limited game time in the A-League, throw them in, give them an opportunity.

The Olyroos should have gone into the tournament with the mindset of having nothing to lose instead of dreaming of a medal; everyone wants to win a gold medal, but the priority should be developing young talent around overaged players such as Jamie Maclaren, Ryan McGowan and Andrew Redmayne. This is a hypothetical exercise and is extremely thought provoking.

Craig Deans would be a good option for the Olyroos as he started bringing in youngsters late in A-League season 2020/21 as the Newcastle Jets beat Melbourne City in his last game as the Jets coach. Along with that, they got seven out a possible nine points in the last three games of A-League season 2020/21.

He would be perfect for the job of Olyroos coach. He would only be the Olyroos coach and not the Socceroos coach. The Socceroos coach should be someone like John Van’t Schip, who is currently coaching Greece as the Socceroos can’t afford to keep Graham Arnold as coach, because someone with fresh ideas is required.

Craig Deans

Craig Deans. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Overaged Players
Jamie Maclaren (Melbourne City, captain), Andrew Redmayne (Sydney FC), Ryan McGowan (Sydney FC)

Rest of Squad
Carlo Armiento (Perth Glory), Lleyton Brooks (Melbourne Victory), James Delianov (Adelaide United), Archie Goodwin (Newcastle Jets), John Koutroumbis (Newcastle Jets), Lucas Mauragis (Newcastle Jets), Moudi Najjar (Macatrthur FC), Calem Nieuwenhof (Sydney FC), Jordan O’Doherty (Newcastle Jets), Joshua Rawlins (Perth Glory), Tate Russell (Western Sydney Wanderers), Daniel Stynes (Perth Glory), Angus Thurgate (Newcastle Jets), Mohamed Toure (Adelaide United), Harry Van Der Saag (Sydney FC)

Goalkeepers: (2) James Delianov, Andrew Redmayne


Defenders: (5) John Koutroumbis, Ryan McGowan, Joshua Rawlins, Tate Russell, Harry Van Der Saag

Midfielders: (5) Lucas Mauragis, Calem Nieuwenhof, Jordan O’Doherty, Daniel Stynes, Angus Thurgate

Striker/Wingers: (6) Carlo Armiento, Lleyton Brooks, Archie Goodwin, Jamie Maclaren, Moudi Najjar, Mohamed Toure

Formation: 4-3-3

Starting 11
Andrew Redmayne (Goalkeeper), Harry Van Der Saag (Right Back), Ryan McGowan (Centre Back), John Koutroumbis (Centre Back), Joshua Rawlins (Left Back), Angus Thurgate (Defensive Midfielder), Jordan O’Doherty (Centre Midfielder), Daniel Stynes (Centre Midfield), Carlo Armiento (Right Wing/Striker), Jamie Maclaren (Striker, captain), Lleyton Brooks (Left Wing/Striker)

Substitutes Bench (7)
James Delianov (Goalkeeper), Archie Goodwin (Striker/Winger), Lucas Mauragis (Centre Midfielder), Moudi Najjar (Striker/Winger), Calem Nieuwenhof (Centre Midfield) Tate Russell (Wing Back), Mohamed Toure (Striker/Winger)

Starting 11

Andrew Redmayne is a quality goalkeeper. He only conceded 23 goals in 25 games in A-League season 2020/21. He was a massive loss to Sydney FC; they could’ve won the A-League grand final had he been available to play, as they are a better team with him in it.


Harry Van Der Saag is calm and composed and suited to the right back role. He deserves to be a regular starter for Sydney FC. He appears to be an extremely versatile player.

Ryan McGowan was solid at the back for Sydney FC with the Sky Blues conceding just 23 goals in his 22 appearances. He has a lot of leadership qualities and would have relished being one of the three overaged players.

John Koutroumbis has the potential to play as a centre back or in the midfield. He rarely makes errors and will be sorely missed at the Newcastle Jets as he has signed a two year contract with Western Sydney Wanderers.

Joshua Rawlings is a prodigious talent that has the capability of playing as a left back. He started eight games and came off the bench in four games for the Perth Glory being brought on as a substitute in season 2020/21.

Angus Thurgate had a good season for the Newcastle Jets. He worked extremely hard in the centre of the park, surprisingly he put in effort on the defensive side of his game. He needs to feature more in the final third. The important thing is he has plenty of potential.

Jordan O’Doherty is a player that has the capability of playing at a high level. He would have relished the opportunity of playing for the Olyroos. His move to the Newcastle Jets in season 2020/21 should prove to be a successful one.

Daniel Stynes is a player that has the potential to play for the Socceroos, eventually! He works hard with and without the ball and even scored two goals in season 2020/21. He just needs more game time, with seven of his 16 appearances in season 2020/21 were coming on as a substitute for the Perth Glory.

Carlo Armiento is a player who can become an exceptional player if he can be more clinical in the final third for the Perth Glory. He featured in 22 games, starting just nine of the games in season 2021. Despite that he still managed to score three goals and provide four assists.


Jamie Maclaren scored 11 more goals than any other player in the A-League in season 2020/21. He is still humble and a great role model to go with his extraordinary talent in the final third.

Jamie MacLaren of Melbourne City celebrates scoring a goal

(Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

He was an important part of the Melbourne City team scoring 25 goals and providing five assists in the 24 games that he featured in during A-League season 2020/21.

He should be a role model for all people in any walk of life as he could have given up when things didn’t work out for him at Perth Glory. It’s great for the likes of Marco Tilio to learn off Maclaren.

Lleyton Brooks is a player that can produce in the final third. He makes things happen in the final third.