Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Youth Group

Although hardly any of them are likely to feature in the China qualifier, it's good to see that Pim Verbeek has picked a young, ambitious squad for the friendly in Singapore on March 22.

Interesting, too, to see that Joel Griffiths has (reportedly) been omitted due to some belittling comments he made following the victory over Qatar. Verbeek has already shown, during his stewardship of the Korean side, that he is likely to give short shrift to disruptive elements within the squad.

Two players that I'm particularly pleased to see in the selection are Mile Jedinak and Nikita Rukavystya.

Long-time readers will know of my admiration for Jedinak, who has been a commanding figure for the Mariners in midfield this season. In Asian competition, he will probably be forced to tone down his hard-tackling style somewhat, given the more strict refereeing, and theatrical reactions to fouls, that predominate. But he is certainly a future national team contender now...even if his ideal position may just turn out to be central defence rather than central midfield.

Rukavystya is still quite raw, but there are few more exciting young players to watch in the A-League. At his best, he has led the Perth line with tremendous energy and brio, and shown some finishing ability, even if this aspect of his game needs a little work. Of our younger striking personnel, Bruce Djite possesses pace and power, and Nathan Burns skill and vision; Rukavystya, by contrast, seems to have a more intangible quality: that enviable self-confidence and willingness to run at the defence that so many young players lack.

The Singapore game will be well worth watching.

Can't say I agree with that. If you're going to have what is essentially an uner-23s game, why not just play an under-23s side.

The game is missing some of the best A-League players, and wasting the time of others.

I can see his POV on this, though. Yes, the Euroroos (i.e. pretty much everyone who'll be playing in Kunming) can't play in this one, but he's probably worried that one of the Euro guys might get injured between now and then, so now there'll be a replacement who's on the spot and relatively match-fit; at the same time, he wants the younger, keener players to make the trip, the ones who are likely to come into consideration for 2010 if they keep improving (that's the way I read it anyway).

They're not all youth players, anyway (Thompson, North).

Nice blog BTW.
Rukavytsya is a raw talent but what a talent! His talent is "intangible" than the likes to Djite which is raw power and Burns who is much more subtle in his approach.

Rukavytsya is like a mix of the two, possessing Burns' ability and willingness to run and ghost past players while standing at 182cm, his also got aspects of Djite's power game
Given the relatively easy workout in testing conditions we had against Singapore (which admittedly we turned into hard work) - I agree it will be very interesting to see what this young side can do.

If Pim is simply letting Griffiths go out on loan to Fukuoka - I could understand. Maybe he has already seen enough of Griffo. I would hardly call Griffo's big mouth evidence of him being a disruptive influence. But I am not Pim.

What was his comment ?

"Sutho FC could beat Qatar, they werent that good".

Admit that was funny but I reckon he is a bit of a live-wire at times He even flicked the poor linesmans nuts earlier on in the season and for that he should miss out.
he did the best he could do with the squad honestly

Lets be honest its been a poor season for the young players, yea okay Kruse and Zullo were great for about 2-3 games but they effectively over-physically run out of the game...

So really its hard to judge how alot of these players will perform

Rukvaystya is alright really he only uses his speed to get past players, good defenders should be able to neutralise him quite easily, if he can add more facets to his game boy he will become a great player.

I mean really in regards to Griffiths he is a good player and i dont wanna take anything away from him, but have u guys actually watched some of the goals he scored??? look at some of the defending its laughable really
Much of the Chinese defending I've seen over the years could be easily be called laughable.
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