Kemp personifies quality

If there is one player that sums up the growing depth of quality players that Australia and in particular the Hyundai A-League is producing it is reliable Melbourne Victory defender Matthew Kemp.

If there is one player that sums up the growing depth of quality players that Australia and in particular the Hyundai A-League is producing it is reliable Melbourne Victory defender Matthew Kemp.

Kemp has been one of the Hyundai A-League's most consistent players over the past three seasons yet such is the depth of players that Australian manager Pim Verbeek has at his disposal, the 29-year-old is not only yet to represent the Socceroos but has never even been called into a national squad or training camp.

All that could change of course in early January when Kemp's stunning form for the reigning Hyundai A-League champions and league leaders this season could finally see him rewarded with a call-up for the Asian Cup qualifier against Kuwait in Kuwait on January 6.

With the match not falling during a FIFA international window that means that many of Australia's overseas-based stars won't be available with the game clashing with matches in England, Italy, Scotland and Spain although other European leagues and the Asian leagues will be in their mid-winter break allowing Verbeek to at least call on some of his overseas-based stars.

So while his form may have him on the verge of his first call-up to the Socceroos, Kemp is not taking anything for granted.

"There has been a bit of talk about it but that is all it is at the moment and hopefully something comes of it," Kemp said of the growing media push, particularly in Melbourne, for him to finally be recognised at national level.

"It's something I would love - to have a cap - it's been a long time coming and I probably didn't think it was going to happen so if it does I would be stoked."

"It is nice to know and flattering that some people think that I should be there but when it comes down to it, it only matter what one person (Verbeek) thinks so we will wait and see."

But Kemp is convinced that such is the growing strength of the Hyundai A-League that any player that was in form in Australia's top domestic competition would be capable of representing the Socceroos with distinction in Kuwait.

"This is a strong league," he said of the Hyundai A-League.

"You can see that by the players that do come back (to play in the Hyundai A-League from overseas)."

"There are guys that have been Socceroos or who are current Socceroos who are now playing in the A-League and they don't necessarily find it easier (than playing overseas) because it is a good standard here."

"I think anyone that is playing well in the A-League has got to be getting a look-in for the national team and there are guys here who haven't played overseas or who haven't had Aussie caps who are really able to match it with them and that is good for the A-League and good for the national team as well."

While Kemp is hoping his first national call-up is only weeks away, his immediate focus is Saturday night's blockbuster against Sydney at Etihad Stadium.

Not only does the clash pit together the Hyundai A-League's two biggest clubs and fiercest rivals but also the teams occupying first and second spot on the ladder with a crowd of more than 35,000 tipped to watch the match at Etihad Stadium.

Throw in the fact that Victory skipper Kevin Muscat will become only the second Australian to play 500 league games on Saturday night and the match is shaping as the biggest of the 2009/10 season.

"You need these big games and you need these big rivalries throughout the league," Kemp said.

"These games are exciting for the supporters and it brings people into the stadium and it's great to have a big game like this at home and hopefully we get a massive crowd."