Four Hyundai A-League Player in Pim's Preliminary Squad
Pim Verbeek includes four A-League stars in his preliminary FIFA World Cup squad
Qantas Socceroos boss Pim Verbeek has chosen four players that were involved in this season-s Hyundai A-League for the FIFA World Cup preliminary 30-man squad.
Jason Culina (Gold Coast United), Tommy Oar (Brisbane Roar), Craig Moore and Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United) have been included in the South African bound party.
Overall in the squad, there are 12 from the 31 who have played in the A-League at some point in their career.
It-s a tough call for the Qantas Socceroos coaching staff to get the best squad, as it is for any of the international coaches coming into the FIFA World Cup.
Argentina, Brazil and England-s coaching staff have already come under fire about their decisions amongst others and it seems that you can-t please everyone.
Australia-s team staff have an even tougher job though, seeing as most of the players are based abroad. Many of the coaches of teams outside Europe have a similar problem but Pim Verbeek has to travel all over the world to see the squad-s candidates. He-s travelled over a million miles since the qualifications began!
The A-League is obviously a fairly new concept in comparison to other established leagues, some of which have been in place for well over a century.
Although it has come a long way with support and interest growing year on year, Australia-s best players do still tend to ply their trade abroad.
One major issue is the Hyundai A-League-s season and when it finishes, currently at the start of March for teams outside the finals. It then results in players having no competitive matches for around three months before the tournament begins.
This means that players have almost two months less playing time than their European based counterparts and as every footballer will tell you, the fitness isn-t a problem, it-s match fitness and touch.
Basically you can do everything to keep fit but you really need competitive match time to be at your best.
The competition has been set up so that there-s no clash with the more dominant codes of NRL and AFL but it raises the question about FIFA World Cup years; should the season begin later?
The addition of new teams will add to the amount of games being played, so the new Sydney and Melbourne teams that will be in the league by the next FIFA World Cup will certainly lengthen the season by a few weeks.
More teams may be in the league by that point too so this may not be an issue by the time the next tournament in Brazil rolls round.
However, for this tournament, Pim and his staff said openly that A-League players and their match readiness was a concern.
It-s a game of opinions though and everyone has their own.
Many an A-League fan has put their player-s names forward, with Simon Colosimo seemingly top of every Sydney fan-s rose tinted list. If you want to discuss this or any other issue, please go to the official facebook Hyundai A-League page and become a fan and get involved.
The more discussion, the better!