Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Socceroo young guns aim for Hong Kong
The upcoming East Asian Cup qualifying tournament in Hong Kong hardly takes pride of place on Football Federation Australia's calender.But for a batch of the A-League's brightest young talent, it will be a prime chance to show national coach Holger Osieck their potential before he settles on squads for next year's crunch World Cup qualifiers.Osieck has picked 19 A-League players in a provisional squad of 25 for the tournament from December 1 to 9, when Australia will take on Taiwan, North Korea, Guam and Hong Kong for a place in next year's East Asian Cup.Osieck will whittle his squad down to 20 on Thursday, but the likes of 21-year-old Aziz Behich and 20-year-old Tom Rogic, who both debuted in a recent friendly against South Korea, should be on the plane to Hong Kong."The more competitive it is, the better it is. It brings the better out of every player. Training has been sharp and it's a high standard," Melbourne Heart defender Behich said of the looming cull."Holger's given us an opportunity to show ourselves again and take our chance when it comes."Rogic, who scored the winner in Central Coast's last-start 2-1 win over Brisbane, was similarly upbeat about the tournament."It's a good opportunity for myself to hopefully get a bit more game time and show what I can do in the national set-up," he said.Both young guns harbour ambitions of shifts to what would be their first foreign club, and the qualifying event could help bring them to the attention of a host of Asian clubs."I'm pretty confident that if I had the chance now I'd do well, but you got to choose the right move at the same time as well," Behich said."You don't want to just go over there and throw yourself in the mix, (you want game time). It all comes with time."