30 June 2008

Olympian Challenge

Assuming Graham Arnold selects the full complement of 3 over-age players in his 18-strong squad for the Olympics, there're only 15 spots up for grabs for the current U-23s.

Speculation over the 3 hasn't exactly been rife, but Kewell, Schwarzer and Holman have been mentioned as likely candidates. Each may be with a new club and hence will have a strong reason not to go. Bresciano, Sterjovski, Culina, North, Joel Griffiths, Vargas, Covic could just as easily be among Arnold's thoughts.

Assuming he takes an over-age goalkeeper, defender and striker, here's the 15 I would select to join them:

GK:

Velaphi - backup; only 2 goalies needed in a squad of 18

DEF:

Spiranovic
Milligan
Leijer
Topor-Stanley - probably a touch more versatile than McClenahan

MID:

Musialik
Troisi
Holland
N. Burns - has to go, surely
Ward - over Kilkenny and Sarkies
Broxham - one of the few mids who can perform fullback duties in a pinch

ST:

Djite
Bridge
Williams
Rukavytsya

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

hmmmm, i would love it if the overage players being targeted were too busy/tired/concentrating on finding a new contract/not interested ...

the squad of underage players who came together to get us to the olympics should go there as is. the squad matured and developed mental toughness as the campaign went on.

3 squad players will miss out so that the overage players can be included. and whatever leadership qualities the stronger members of the squad have developed will be jettisoned, as the squad will look to the overage players for leadership. rather than each other.

or maybe i am a bit strange and missing the point of the olympic tournament.

am a bit of a soccer newby to be honest. have you watched any earlier australian olympic campaigns? any thoughts on how the overage players mesh with the youth squad?

clayton

James said...

I agree with you - I'd like to see zero over-age players at the Olympics.

Of all the seniors, I'd say only Kewell has gelled with the younger guys on the pitch to any significant extent. Off the pitch, who knows?

Anonymous said...

interesting to compare where these guys were at the start of this campaign and where they are now. development wise.

some would have come along fine - olympics or no olympics. maybe burns or musialak come to mind.

but others have had a lot of growth, and the olympic campaign is a part of that. i am thinking about djite and topor-stanley.

has milligan gone backwards? not sure.

this current olympic squad has had the toughest campaign we`ve seen, and the exposure to different styles, conditions and genuine pressure has been great.

i figure the olympic campaign has already paid off. the actual finals is just gravy for me.

clayton

ps. sorry, here`s a question - any thoughts on where this squad was at the start of the campaign and where it is now?

Fred said...

I'm still pissed about how things worked out withthe Olympics. Please no Graham Arnold ever again.