It was only a number of months ago that former Australian manager Pim Verbeek claimed that with the eventual retirement of Australia’s Golden Generation, the likes of Kewell, Cahill and Schwarzer, the Socceroos would not produce a squad as good for at least another generation. Justin Cormick believes otherwise, and here are eleven players he trusts can step into the first team and lead Australia to bigger and better things.
GK: Matthew Ryan (Central Coast Mariners)
Named by In Bed With Maradona as one of the top 100 young footballers in 2013, Matthew Ryan is one of a number of young goalkeepers ready to step in when Schwarzer decides to hang up the gloves. Ryan won the A-league Young Player of the Year for two years in a row, as well as the 2011-12 Goalkeeper of the year.
DF: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor)
Behich began his A-league career with only five appearances in the 2009-10 season. After an injury to Melbourne Heart defender Sarkies, Behich was signed as a 7-week replacement, and ended up staying for three seasons. His defensive abilities attracted interest from the Netherlands and Germany, and the young Australian eventually made the move to Turkey.
DF: Scott Jamieson (Perth Glory)
Still only 24-years of age, Jamieson has already played for three A-league clubs, being a first team regular for Adelaide United, Sydney FC, and now Perth Glory. Jamieson has already played a number of games for the Green and Gold, and has experienced a number of Asian Champions League matches with his former clubs.
DF: Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough)
Already with a number of Socceroos appearances to his name, Williams should be set for many more. Williams moved from Australia to England, playing for Middlesbrough since 2005. After making the senior team in 2008, Williams has adapted from a central defender, and is now capable of playing in a defensive or attacking midfield role.
DF: Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo)
Before arriving in the Netherlands, Davidson played football in Victoria and Portugal. Davidson has already played a number of times for his country, at senior and international levels. The young defender is beginning to show he has what it takes to one day become a first team regular for Australia.
CDM: Aaron Mooy (Western Sydney Wanderers)
At only 22 years of age, Mooy has already spent time at Bolton Wanderers and St Mirren. However following the creation of the Western Sydney Wanderers, Mooy returned to his home-town as one of the three inaugural signings. The midfielder has been a key player for the Wanderers throughout their breakthrough season, and will be a key player for the Green and Gold before too long.
AM: Terry Antonis (Sydney FC)
Antonis has been touted as one of the best young talents in Australian Football. The midfielder has been playing for Sydney FC since 2010, and has received interest from Everton, Inter, Marseille, and Borussia Monchengladbach. Many have even described him as a replacement for Tim Cahill in the national team.
AM: Tom Rogic (Celtic)
After a short but impressive time as the Central Coast Mariners, Tom Rogic received attention from a number of European clubs. Despite only arriving in Scotland a short time ago, the Aussie Midfielder has already been noticed as an impressive young talent.
LW: Tommy Oar (Utrecht)
Following two seasons at Brisbane Roar in the A-league, Oar moved to the Netherlands and has been steadily improving. Oar has represented his country a number of times already, and is capable of playing as an attacking midfielder or winger.
RW: Matthew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt)
Leckie is capable of playing as a second striker or winger. After impressing Monchengladbach during a brief time at Adelaide United the young Australian made the transfer to Germany. Leckie is currently on loan in Frankfurt in the second German division.
ST: Ben Halloran (Brisbane Roar)
After two seasons at Gold Coast United, Halloran became a target of five A-league clubs following the collapse of the Gold Coast team. Halloran has represented Australia at an under-20s level, and his ability to play as a striker or midfielder will no doubt see him making his senior appearance before too long.