Did Holger find the right balance?

Holger Osieck has a good mix of youth and experience in his team, but where will the next batch of strikers come from?

There-s zero doubting Holger Osieck has named a very strong Qantas Socceroos squad for their upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Oman and Japan, as well as the friendly with Denmark in Copenhagen.

In fact it-s likely the strongest squad we have assembled since the previous World Cup in South Africa and one that will be tough to get a place in.

The Qantas Socceroos are strong all across the park and it-s fair to say the line-up could read this way when it comes to crunch time against Oman and Japan.

Mark Schwarzer, Michael Zullo, Lucas Neill, Sasa Ognenovski, Rhys Williams, Luke Wilkshire, Tim Cahill, Brett Holman, Harry Kewell, Josh Kennedy, Alex Brosque and that-s a strong possible starting XI.

The bench could include Adam Federici as the back-up keeper and then Mark Bresciano, Carl Valeri and even a debuting Chris Herd, and still some bright stars would miss out altogether. But what is important when it comes to this team is building for the future.

2014 is still a long way away and although all current Socceroos say they want to play on, age and injury will have to cut some down no matter which way you slice it, they are the realities of the professional footballer.

Sport is not something you can play at the top level forever, but for now Osieck has a great mix of youth and experience.

Schwarzer, Neill, Ognenovski, Wilkshire, Cahill, Kewell and Kennedy have been there and done all of this before and will help others make their impact on the team.

Alex Brosque has been a fringe player in the past but after his performance against Saudi Arabia last time out, he must be included, he seems to have finally realised his potential since moving from Sydney to Japan.

Mark Bresciano is his wily self, enigmatic as he is at times, his impact going forward cannot be underestimated, but he can be a liability in defence.

From there we look at the new age Socceroos and they will be led by Brett Holman; the midfielder came of age during the last FIFA World Cup campaign and is undoubtedly the leader of generation next. He has shown time and time again he can mix it with the best, be it in Holland for AZ Alkmaar or on the world stage for Australia.

His rise will only encourage the likes of Rhys Williams, Michael Zullo and Chris Herd, who all have big futures, especially Zullo who could be the long-term answer to the problematic position of left back for the Socceroos.

Zullo will be around for longer than David Carney, and though the latter has been getting plenty of football of late for Bunyodkor and playing well for the Uzbek giants, he is not a long-term solution to our biggest problem position.

What might be most interesting, aside from the omission of the injured Brett Emerton, who the Socceroos will miss out wide, is the selection of the third keeper.

Nathan Coe plays in Denmark for Sønderjysk Elitesport and while it would be nice for him to get a chance against the Danes it would be surprising if he did, with both Schwarzer and Federici available.

And while no knock on him, his club hardly set the Danish league on fire this year, but he did play a lot of football and he is a solid up-and-comer, but with so much expected of Mat Ryan and Mitch Langerak in particular it seems like a strange selection.

Langerak has pulled on the gloves on occasions for Borussia Dortmund, recently starring in the German Cup triumph against the mighty Bayern Munich and is likely to have a huge career in front of him.

Admittedly he hasn-t played as much as Coe, but at this stage of their respective careers he looks the bigger star.

Also on the goalkeeping front it-s unfortunate to see how far Brad Jones-s stock has fallen. Once thought to be the successor to Schwarzer-s throne he-s now third choice at Liverpool, but if he is to regain some form and a regular starting spot somewhere else his future could be infinitely brighter.

In defence the continued rise of the aforementioned Zullo is important as is the continued development of Williams and Herd, who are the future of the Socceroos- back four and all talented.

But while the defence looks solid it-s going to once again be all about what the strikers can do come 2014.

Kennedy and Brosque are 29 and 28 respectively and should still be at their peak in 2014, but Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell will be 33 and 34.

Our top four goal machines are all aging and while Holman can finish, the area we seem to be short on is young strikers. So it is heartening to see Nikita Rukavytsya back in the international fold; he might not be the finished product but it's vital that we see him progress.

We're lucky that we can still boast two of our finest ever players in the final third, but moulding our young strikers into their replacements could be the biggest challenge Osieck will face.

The views in this article are those of the author and not the FFA