Are we on the cusp of a better generation?


Are we on the cusp of a better generation?

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milan_7
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Maybe not a Golden Generation, but I look at the current crop of youngsters playing in the A-League and I think a lot of them are already almost as good as some of our current Socceroos despite being a decade younger. I feel like we could be on to something by the time 2026 rolls around, I've compiled a list of what our squad could potentially look like by then (ages in brackets). There's plenty of talent around in the league now that will just coming into their prime around a similar time, if you look at our current squad, the ages are really scattered and I think the only quality players we've had that are now 28-35 are Ryan, Sainsbury, Mooy and Rogic. Seems a big cap to get that next range. I am sure I am forgetting a bunch too but this crop has me really excited for what our talent pool could look like for 2026, think we'll have loads more playing in Europe.

Goalkeepers
Ryan (34)

Gauci (25)

Maynard-Brewer (26)

Izzo (31)

Chapman (25)

Glover (28)

Bilokapic (23)



Right Backs

Atkinson (26)

Rawlins (22)

Karacic (30)

Miller (25)

Strain (29)



Centre Backs

Rowles (27)

Souttar (27)

Ryan (25)

Popovic (23)

Wright (33)

Sainsbury (34)

Degenek (32)

Deng (29)
Rich-Baghuelou (26)

Bility (26)



Left Backs

King (25)

Farrell (23)

Bos (23)

Garuccio (30)

Gersbach (29)


Centre Mids
McGree (27)

Genreau (27)

Metcalfe (26)

Hrustic (29)
Devlin (27)

Rogic (33)

Gomulka (24)

Stensness (27)

Yazbek (23)

Watts (24)

Irvine (33)

Mauk (30)


Wingers

Tilio (24)

Volpato (22)

Italiano (24)

Brook (25)

Mabil (30)

D’Agostino (28)

Najjarine (26)

Bernardo (22)

Arzani (27)

Folami (26)

Boyle (33)

Borrello (30)

M. Toure (22)

Irakunda (20)


Strikers

Yengi (26)

A. Kuol (24)

Iredale (30)

Cummings (30)

Wood (23)

G. Kuol (21)



Potential line up:
Ryan
Atkinson-Souttar-Rowles-King
McGree-Metcalfe-Hrustic
Volpato-A.Kuol-Tilio
Edited
2 Months Ago by milan_7
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Yes.

It’s clear to absolutely anyone who has watched the A-League over the last 2-3 years. 

It’s a big reason as to why we made the Olympics and as to why we now have a number of young/youngish players in and around the NT right now and I suspect this will continue for the next few years.

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Very exciting. As i said on the other forum, when these guys go over they need to make sure that they are going to be getting game time otherwise these young guys careers while fall of a cliff like other youngsters 
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Yes to a degree. There's no doubt this latest batch of olyroos is the best we've had since at least the 2008 team. Having said that i think that Covid aided this batch greatly as more players left for overseas and clubs had to play more youngsters rather than recycling the same old guys - that still happens a lot but with covid it just wasn't as much.

We've got guys like the young chipperfield,  Volpato and Circati and Alex robertson who could yet (hopefully all) become Socceroos too. 
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We say the exact same thing every couple of years, since season 1 of the A-League.
But 17 years on, and there are only a handful that have reached semi-decent heights.

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Just need the right coach to guide them.

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You forgot about McGree who could be the best of the lot in 2026 if injuries don't drag him down. I'm a bit with bettega though - there will be the typical attrition rate where a percentage won't reach their expected potential due to injury, poor choice of club/league, lack of work ethic and willingness to sacrifice, or just simply being overhyped from the start. 
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dr. bellows - 24 May 2022 2:39 AM
You forgot about McGree who could be the best of the lot in 2026 if injuries don't drag him down. I'm a bit with bettega though - there will be the typical attrition rate where a percentage won't reach their expected potential due to injury, poor choice of club/league, lack of work ethic and willingness to sacrifice, or just simply being overhyped from the start. 

This. Mcgree is slipping under everyone’s radar but he can be our best player 
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Yes.  You should see what the kids are doing on the parks on the weekends.  The problem is the same as in the past:  at 16 years of age the great majority of the talent leaves the game.

Most always will.

However, if there is a clear path to a professional career, then the most driven (not always the most talented) will push on.  If there was an additional 300 places available, within country, for those kids to aspire to, then the wastage will reduce to less devastating levels.

The creation of that second division will be the formative step that elevates professional football from its baby knees to at least a stumbling toddler's gait.

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bettega - 24 May 2022 12:50 AM
We say the exact same thing every couple of years, since season 1 of the A-League.
But 17 years on, and there are only a handful that have reached semi-decent heights.

True. 
I'm sure we can dig up these types of lists on the forum every year. 
The more the players head overseas, and stay there, the better they will get. 
The quicker they return to the A-league because the going gets tough and they get paid more here, the more likely they will stagnate or decline. 
Potential unfulfilled once again. 
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SWandP - 24 May 2022 8:12 AM
Yes.  You should see what the kids are doing on the parks on the weekends.  The problem is the same as in the past:  at 16 years of age the great majority of the talent leaves the game.

Most always will.

However, if there is a clear path to a professional career, then the most driven (not always the most talented) will push on.  If there was an additional 300 places available, within country, for those kids to aspire to, then the wastage will reduce to less devastating levels.

The creation of that second division will be the formative step that elevates professional football from its baby knees to at least a stumbling toddler's gait.

Bang on !!!!!! 100% agree.
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The league needs to make sure we keep playing the youngsters bring in new rules if you have to, but a 2nd division is paramount to it working. 
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jas88 - 24 May 2022 9:43 AM
The league needs to make sure we keep playing the youngsters bring in new rules if you have to, but a 2nd division is paramount to it working. 

If we have 16 pro teams, 16 semi pro teams aiming to become fully pro and 30-40 semi-pro teams in the State league sunder them vying for promotion, that is a lot of scope for most talented players to be funnelled up, no need for specific match day requirements around ages - in my opinion. Dont need to legislate change to give youth a go, just create more opportunities and it will/should happen naturally.
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dr. bellows - 24 May 2022 2:39 AM
You forgot about McGree who could be the best of the lot in 2026 if injuries don't drag him down. I'm a bit with bettega though - there will be the typical attrition rate where a percentage won't reach their expected potential due to injury, poor choice of club/league, lack of work ethic and willingness to sacrifice, or just simply being overhyped from the start. 

I don’t know how I forgot about him, I agree he’s the most exciting of them all! We have so many good 8’s we need a couple of 6’s (think Gomulka has big potential).

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bettega - 24 May 2022 12:50 AM
We say the exact same thing every couple of years, since season 1 of the A-League.
But 17 years on, and there are only a handful that have reached semi-decent heights.

So much this. There do seem to be more decent players than usual though (strikers in particular), and they're younger. Hopefully a couple more can kick on.

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2007: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2008: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2009: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2010: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2011: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2012: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2013: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2014: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2015: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2016: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2017: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2018: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2019: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2020: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2021: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2022: very excited about youth and prospects for the future


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I know people are shitting on this thread but the big difference is the majority of this group is actually playing. Go back 7-8 years and I remember this forum was bleak, there would be 3-5 players who would actually be getting game time every weekend. 

Now we have numerous young players all over the place. It would be nice to have a couple of superstars but it much more important to have a wide depth and decent quality players across the park. 
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What we are missing is the most important part of teams - good centre backs and DMs

Don't mean to sound glum, but I can't think of one player I am overly excited about. However, I am coaching kids and we are turning kids away and they love the game so hopefully we see the fruits. 
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tsf - 24 May 2022 12:16 PM
What we are missing is the most important part of teams - good centre backs and DMs

Don't mean to sound glum, but I can't think of one player I am overly excited about. However, I am coaching kids and we are turning kids away and they love the game so hopefully we see the fruits. 

I like Stensness, Devlin and Gomulka at DM while at CB I have high hopes for Alex Popovic and Dan Hall.
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It depends on a few things but mainly it will come down to the clubs they play for and things like injuries don't get in the way of promising young players.

I do agree this is a promising generation, for me that stands out from this is so how some are technically gifted they are primary due to the curriculum influence but to the popularity of futsal which in my opinion should be encouraged more at all levels because its making a difference in the type of players we are developing i.e Rogic, Arzani, Tilio etc.

Another key point there is also an the new emergence of the African diaspora coming in it's giving us a different outlook compared to the past which was predominately European Australian.

But it's looking promising so far, hopefully we can continue to improve with more elite club academies, the NSD but also we get longer seasons with more games and continued improvements in good coach education and talent ID.
Edited
2 Months Ago by Barca4Life
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Barca4Life - 24 May 2022 1:55 PM
It depends on a few things but mainly it will come down to the clubs they play for and things like injuries don't get in the way of promising young players.

I do agree this is a promising generation, for me that stands out from this is so how some are technically gifted they are primary due to the curriculum influence but to the popularity of futsal which in my opinion should be encouraged more at all levels because its making a difference in the type of players we are developing i.e Rogic, Arzani, Tilio etc.

Another key point there is also an the new emergence of the African diaspora coming in it's giving us a different outlook compared to the past which was predominately European Australian.

But it's looking promising so far, hopefully we can continue to improve with more elite club academies, the NSD but also we get longer seasons with more games and continued improvements in good coach education and talent ID.

Yes this is going to be a deep well of talent I think. Even in local football the African lads that are fresh off the boat and coming through have heaps of talent. They've definitely lifted the standard around the place. They play a different sort of football too. More razzle dazzle, wanting to 'own' players (showing my age here with the yoof lingo) by nuttying them and all the rest of it. (Take too many touches sometimes. Would drive me bananas if I were coaching. )

They bring a lot of family and friends to the games too which makes it better again.  


Member since 2008.


Edited
2 Months Ago by Munrubenmuz
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Just on the keepers. We are far from a golden generation. As Ron Corry noted in this video. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VahwXe_N_V0&t=1s

Bosnich, Schwarzer and Kalac were all playing against each other from about the age of 13 playing in the western suburbs of Sydney with a number of other very good keppers around as well. This generation of keepers have Ryan and possibly the unavailable Langerak that I could think about as at or even approaching that level and then it falls away dramatically.
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We have been getting better for a while but that was disguised by the fact that cahill kept playing for a long time. Pre 2014 we also had a lot of golden gen play into their twilight which disguised how bad younger players were at the time
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The whole world is also improving though so I am a rather cautious in the future generation if what we deem as 'gold' is the rest of the world's 'bronze'?


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tsf - 24 May 2022 12:16 PM
What we are missing is the most important part of teams - good centre backs and DMs

Don't mean to sound glum, but I can't think of one player I am overly excited about. However, I am coaching kids and we are turning kids away and they love the game so hopefully we see the fruits. 

I actually think CB is one of our best areas, maybe not by depth but Souttar is already our best CB at 23 and Rowles has been excellent and looks to be the next Sainsbury (and is importantly a left footer, with most coaches wanting a left sided centre back nowadays he'll go far). Popovic has also been unbelievable since he broke through at Adelaide. Agree about DM though, out of Stensness, Devlin & Gomulka I think Gomulka goes the furthest.
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milan_7 - 25 May 2022 10:01 AM
tsf - 24 May 2022 12:16 PM

I actually think CB is one of our best areas, maybe not by depth but Souttar is already our best CB at 23 and Rowles has been excellent and looks to be the next Sainsbury (and is importantly a left footer, with most coaches wanting a left sided centre back nowadays he'll go far). Popovic has also been unbelievable since he broke through at Adelaide. Agree about DM though, out of Stensness, Devlin & Gomulka I think Gomulka goes the furthest.

I would have added Keanu Baccus to that group but I don't like his recent move. I think he could improve a lot under a top manager, something he hasn't had for a long time, if ever. 
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roosty - 24 May 2022 11:41 AM
2007: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2008: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2009: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2010: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2011: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2012: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2013: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2014: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2015: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2016: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2017: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2018: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2019: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2020: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2021: very excited about youth and prospects for the future
2022: very excited about youth and prospects for the future


This!!!
After following O/S aussies abroad for a decade, for every 100 we get excited about only 1 or 2 really make their mark, another dozen go to ok leagues and do reasonable (which gets them selection for Socceroos), another third languish in lower leagues and eventually quit. Most others never play more than a handful of games. 
Even players that were signed by big clubs and hyped in overseas press as wunderkids have mostly failed to get anywhere. 
Arzani, Armenakas, Xane Zianeddine (now working at an Apple store in Sydney) - all were on the books of top 5 clubs in the world and all have been flops. 
Those on this forum awhile have seen it all before and have been bitterly disappointed. 
For me, the most promising o/s players who have reached their potential are those who have grinded away at lower leagues (often on loan), playing against adults, seemingly under the radar and slowly worked their way up to better clubs and better leagues. Harry souttar is a classic example and is now our best bet of getting a contract in top 4 leagues at a reasonably young age (if he recovers ok from injury). 
So many A league players show promise, go o/s to promising contracts only to not make the grade or be stuck in the youth sides (Italiano) and become massive disappointments. 
I won’t be truly excited till a young player like mcgree is getting regular solid minutes in a top league. But we need to face the fact that our players reaching this level will likely be very few and far between. 
I know he is a bit older than most in the discussions of this thread but I can see Jay Rich Baghelou becoming at least a solid championship player maybe reaching EPL if he continues his current trajectory. He developed incredible resilience pulling himself up from very low level leagues in England before taking his opportunity in Crystal Palace academy to keep learning his craft. (He only switch from striker to defender a few years ago too). 

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grazorblade - 25 May 2022 6:30 AM
We have been getting better for a while but that was disguised by the fact that cahill kept playing for a long time. Pre 2014 we also had a lot of golden gen play into their twilight which disguised how bad younger players were at the time


Completely agree with this. I think the fact that we had some great players papering over the cracks even into the later years disguised just how bad the team actually was. We were handing out caps to anyone who started a handful of games in any league in Europe. The fact that we can reject players playing at lower levels in Europe now shows how much things have changed. 
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Podiacide - 25 May 2022 11:52 AM
roosty - 24 May 2022 11:41 AM

For me, the most promising o/s players who have reached their potential are those who have grinded away at lower leagues (often on loan), playing against adults, seemingly under the radar and slowly worked their way up to better clubs and better leagues.


100% right! I think Teague is another one that might break through next year. He's played over 50 games now against professional men in a country he doesn't speak the language and he's only 20.
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Podiacide - 25 May 2022 11:52 AM
roosty - 24 May 2022 11:41 AM

Xane Zianeddine (now working at an Apple store in Sydney) - 

Nothing the matter with putting your football career on the backburner to follow your dreams
GO


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