Thursday, June 07, 2007



Congratulations to Rob Baan and his Olyroo side for making it through to the next round of the Asian qualifiers for the Beijing Olympics. It was never going to be an easy group, with Saudi Arabia and Iran in the mix, and the youngsters did themselves proud.

Apart from the opener against Iran, I've seen only brief snatches of the games, but certainly the reports of their play have been glowing.

To my mind, what the Olyroos' achievement again underlines is the importance of the European "second tier"; some time ago, I suggested that the situation for Australian youngsters in Europe was not nearly as bad as it was often portrayed.

The truth is plain to see. The contributions from the likes of David Williams (scorer of two fine goals against Jordan last night), Neil Kilkenny, James Troisi, Aaron Downes and Trent McLenahan throughout the campaign were, by all accounts, crucial, even if they had good support from A-Leaguers such as Mark Bridge, Bruce Djite and Danny Vukovic.

Would we have gotten through with an A-League bunch alone? Rob Baan, it would seem, certainly didn't think so.

Having seen the games at live at Hindmarsh, can definitely confirm that the Olyroos are very enjoyable to watch and there are a few players in there (Milligan, Kilkenny, Williams, Troisi, Vukovic) who are ready to make the step up to the seniors.

Can definitely see similarities in the style of play they are trying to achieve between the seniors and the olyroos (which would please craig foster!)
These are the goals (from an Arabic source) (Downes hits the crossbar) (Williams) (Ward) (Williams) (Nich Ward chance) (Vidosic, a cracking goal!!)
Some excellent work there by Djite in the build up. Seriously, once the kid adds goals to his game...
Thanks for those links Guido - and apologies for not putting your comment up earlier, I've been away for a few days.

I'd actually seen the goals already (someone linked to them on one of the forums), and a couple are pretty damn impressive. I don't think our current batch of young guys is such a disaster, BUT I think some people are just assuming that the young A-Leaguers are the only ones out there available in that age group. They aren't.
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