Calls for Central Coast defender Trent Sainsbury to be selected for the Qantas Socceroos are premature, according to former Sydney FC defender Mark Rudan.
Calls for Central Coast Mariners defender Trent Sainsbury to be selected for the Qantas Socceroos are premature, according to former Sydney FC defender Mark Rudan.
Sainsbury, 20, has impressed in the early stages of the Hyundai A-League season, stepping in to the fill the gap left by former Mariners skipper Alex Wilkinson with aplomb.
With next week's friendly against Korea Republic and the qualifiers for the East Asian Cup later in the year, Sainsbury-s form has caught the attention of those who believe more young players should be given a chance at Socceroos level.
But while Rudan admitted he was an admirer of the young centreback, he said the Mariners youngster still has a great deal to learn before progressing to the national team set-up.
“Wilko leaving left a big hole and some thought the Mariners wouldn-t be able to cover it,” Rudan told a-league.com.au.
“But Trent-s come in and done a wonderful job. He-s lucky that he-s got a wonderful defence around him in Pedj Bojic, Josh Rose, Matty Ryan - and Patrick Zwaanswijk, who has been the best defender over the past two years. With his guidance and experience I don-t think Trent-s missed a beat.
“Trent-s put in some fantastic performances so far - but we-re only five games in; he-s got to put a run of games together and he hasn-t done that yet.
“That-s not to say Trent won-t have time in the national set-up but defenders usually get better with age; I-d like to see him put a good full season in or even a year or two before being called up.”
Instead, Rudan said he would rather other fringe players were given a shot at the national team in the upcoming national team fixtures.
“We-ve seen a bit of Matthew Spiranovic, and I-d like Luke DeVere get a chance. He-s been playing solidly over in Korea and he-s playing in a tougher competition, playing more games. He had a sensational year prior to leaving Australia and he-s been playing week in week out.
“The attacking players should also be given a chance - I-d love to see Tommy Rogic be given an opportunity, along with Aaron Mooy.
"The young boys fluctuate with their form and higher up the park you can forgive a couple of mistakes here and there because they-ve got another line of defence behind them.
“Mooy and Rogic, in particular, deserve that chance; they-re as good as any other midfielders in the competition right now and I believe if you-re good enough you-re old enough.”