The 2021/22 Premier League season kicked off last weekend but for Australian football fans, it was a sad sight as there wasn’t one Socceroo flying our flag across the 20 clubs.
Our last two starters in the Premier League for the Socceroos, Aaron Mooy and Mat Ryan, have both moved on from the top tier of English football.
Watch the best European Football with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. Live coverage from every round of LaLiga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 & more. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
The pair were at Brighton together, but Mooy made a switch to Shanghai Port in the Chinese Super League last year, and goalkeeper Ryan moved to Real Sociedad in the Spanish La Liga after falling out of favour.
However, Australian football legend Mark Schwarzer believes it’s just a part of the peaks and troughs nations go through when it comes to producing talent.
Schwarzer, speaking to news.com.au in association with sports betting aggregator OLBG, was quick to point out it isn’t all doom and gloom in the future for Australian football.
“Like clubs, nations do the same thing at times of producing players,” Schwarzer said.
“You have periods of time where you have a really good generation of players coming through.
“There’ll always be a period of dropping off a little bit, and that’s kind of what we’ve done.
Schwarzer played a starring role in getting the Socceroos to a World Cup for the first time since 1974.Source:Getty Images
“We haven’t quite got the players like we had in the golden generation, but then who does? What nation has the same players they had in their golden generation?
“What excites me is we’ve got players coming through.
“We’ve got players who are nicely placed at various clubs in Europe, they just need to make that final breakthrough and become regulars.”
One such player that had Schwarzer waxing lyrical is Tyrese Francois, a 21-year-old midfielder who plies his trade with Fulham in the Championship, the second division in England.
“I think the best thing that happened to him was that he didn’t get selected for the Olympics,” Schwarzer said. “Which was a surprise to me, because I’ve known him since he was about 12-years-old.
“It’s great to see him playing in Fulham’s first team and he does not look out of place.
“He looks a good player, the player I thought he was going to be.”
Francois’ guile in midfield could have been used in the Olyroos’ Olympic campaign, as a stunning 2-0 win over Argentina was followed by losses to Spain and Egypt.
For 11 members of the Olyroos squad, they’ll return back to A-League ahead of another domestic campaign.
Marco Tilio celebrates after scoring a stunner against Argentina at the Olympics.Source:AFP
But on the back of some impressive individual performances, a number of the Olyroos could find themselves elsewhere around the world before the next edition of the A-League kicks off, and Schwarzer had a pointed message for those who could be lining up in a different country.
“Take a chance of going to Europe,” Schwarzer said. “You won’t be getting as much money as you would in Asia or somewhere else, but there’s certainly a better path of development for players.
“If you look at it in terms of how many players have gone to Asia and developed better as players from Australia, and then made stepping stones throughout Asia and gone on to the highest level, I don’t think there’s many.
“Whereas you look at Europe, and how many players have gone to Europe and used the various stepping stones to progress through their career, there’s been far more of them.
“The rewards have been better in the end, and certainly helps the national team.”
Schwarzer’s plea echoes even louder among the backdrop of Football Australia preparing an official bid for the 2034 men’s World Cup.
Schwarzer hopes it’ll be a different outcome to the ill-fated 2022 World Cup bid from Australia.Source:AFP
Australia is set to host the 2023 women’s World Cup alongside New Zealand, and FA officials are looking to build on that momentum to host the biggest football tournament on our shores.
After the disappointing 2022 men’s World Cup bid that left Australia with just one vote and Qatar with hosting rights, the legendary goalkeeper believes things will be different this time around within the walls of FIFA.
“Hopefully FIFA has cleaned their act up, and that sort of process never happens again,” Schwarzer said.
“The bid they (Australia) put together last time round was an incredible bid, but it wasn’t judged fairly because we didn’t have the deepest pockets and we weren’t prepared to go out on a limb.
“There’s so many things going for us.
“Hopefully FIFA see that, acknowledge it, and actually get on board and see it as an amazing opportunity to bring a World Cup to a part of the world that have never had it before and are desperate to have it in a country that is absolutely football mad.”
Source: Read Full Article