Osieck hails younger Socceroos

March 13, 2013
By Adrian Warren

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck has hailed the emergence and development of his young guns and says others will join them in the next two years.

For the early part of his tenure, German Osieck was criticised in some quarters for not giving younger players a go and sticking with the 'Golden Generation' who were largely responsible for Australia making the 2006 and 2010 World Cup finals.

While Osieck's squad for the vital March 26 World Cup qualifier against Oman doesn't contain any uncapped players or bolters it includes a smattering of youngsters Osieck clearly rates, including two 20-year-old Central Coast Mariners products, midfielder Tom Rogic, who is now with Scottish giant Celtic, and goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

Dutch-based winger Tommy Oar, 21, is another generation next player in the squad.

Slightly older, but still in the young category are 23-year-olds Ryan McGowan and James Holland, 24-year-olds Rhys Williams, Robbie Kruse and Michael Zullo.

"There's still a couple more guys to come and there's even names that nobody discusses right now," Osieck said.

"They are going to be up in one, two years, I'm 100 per cent confident of that."

He said Kruse, Oar and Holland had all made tremendous progress over the last year or two.

Osieck cited Kruse as an example of the perseverance required by youngsters striving to scale the slippery pole to soccer stardom.

"He really went through the low part of the football game," Osieck said.

"Last season second division in Germany, he hardly had any playing time, he became very frustrated.

"This year in the Bundesliga he has become a starter, plays regularly, scores and is one of the best players there and that reflects now to the Socceroos.

"He has become a (Socceroo) starter now and he's become one of my most important players."

While A-League leader Western Sydney isn't represented in the squad for Oman, Osieck said Wanderers midfielder Aaron Mooy, who scored in each of his first two Socceroo appearances in December's East Asian Cup qualifiers is another improver.

"I have opened the door already for him and now he has to walk through," Osieck said.

"You can only guide the horse to the water, but they have to drink (for) themselves."