Brisbane’s dominance of the National team- a sign of things to come?

Since Holger Osiek took charge of the national side some 14 months ago now he has began to regenerate the national side with younger players and at the centre of it has been players with a connection to Brisbane Roar. Matt McKay, Sasa Ognenovski and Michael Zullo have become key players in the side, but they are by no means the only ones to get their chance.


Current and former players to play since South Africa 2010.

Sasa Ognenovski:

Since making his debut for the Socceroos in Cairo the big Ogmonster has been a steady contributor to the national team especially in this year’s Asian Cup where he alongside Lucas Neill marshalled the defence beautifully. In recent times he has began to be rotated slightly with Matt Spiranovic getting the odd game in his place.

Michael Zullo:

I have to be honest, when I saw him get carved open on Boxing Day 2009 down the coast I thought that was the end of the experiment, but Postecoglou stuck with it and it’s payed off for him now that he plays every week in the Eredivise. His best showing in the green and gold thus far was his masterful effort in Saudi Arabia, and he is now growing into the role.

Matt McKay:

Matt was not new to the Socceroos scene when Holger gave him his chance, in fact he made his debut 4 years earlier vs. Kuwait, but it was not til the Asian Cup in neighbouring Qatar where he really began to make his mark on the Socceroos, especially in the semi final vs. Uzbekistan. Since then the ex-captain has cemented his spot in the side with masterful performances down the left leading to his successes at the recent awards night.


Adam Sarota:

Despite the fact he can’t get a regular game for Utrecht, he has managed to win the favour of Holger and has been involved ever since the training camp in Germany in March. Now he needs to kick on and get some more playing time for club and country. Seems to be seen as a valuable member of the squad by Osiek which is a good thing.

Mitch Nichols:

Im sure everyone reading this is well aware of how much Mitch has improved and now his reward has come with a Socceroos call up. Of course he does have 1 cap already but he was very young then, perhaps to young. In addition to Socceroos call ups Nichols will also be a key part of the Olyroos campaign for London 2012.

Robbie Kruse:

Burst onto the scene for the Socceroos at the Asian Cup following some fantastic form the A-League and has been a regular ever since, but more than that he looks to be a goal scorer for the national team which will be needed going forward. His move to Fortuna Dusseldorf will do him no harm if he keeps playing.

Alex Brosque:

Was considered a bolter for the Asian Cup until injury, he eventually got his chance back here in Brisbane when he popped up with the winner against Thailand. Since then he has been a key member for Osiek off the bench and he stepped up vs. Malaysia with a well taken brace. Aparently he has been playing as a midfielder in Japan which is a bit strange

Luke DeVere:

He hasn’t cracked it yet, but he was apart of the squad for the opening two 2014 World Cup Qualifiers and the Wales friendly but he failed to get on the park for his debut, no doubt he will thou. His junior  international career includes the 2009 U/20 World cup and one would assume the
2012 London Olympic campaign.

Dario Vidosic:

Didn’t go to Qatar for the Asian Cup, Vidosic’s chances have been limited thus far under Osiek and hasn’t managed to force his way into the
squad since his move back to Australia, plenty of time to go thou, probably just needs to play more regularly. Dario obviously has the talent to get back in and the 2010 squad member will be thee in 2014 imo.

Tommy Oar:

He has had a taste of things in the full national team, but thus far most of his football has come in junior international tournaments, most recently the u/20 World Cup, and probably the Olyroos. He did however get a late call up to the Asian Cup squad for the injured Garcia, so he is on the radar.

Current Players with potential for 2014:

In addition to the above 10 players, there are also another 4 who appear to be knocking on the door of selection to the national side due to their fantastic form for Brisbane in the past 12 months. Holger is clearly looking at the A-League as shown by his national team training camp, and the below four were apart of that two day camp in Sydney.
Ivan Franjic:

Ivans rise to prominence is truly amazing given that 2 years ago he was only just getting an injury replacement contract and now he is by far and away the best right back in Australia. Franjic is another of the Brisbane players to make the recent national team training camp in Sydney. A move to Europe could be on the horizon fo the fullback.


Erik Paartalu:

Paartalu has played 2 games for the u/17 national team, but since then been frozen out- until 3 weeks ago when he was included in that 2 day training camp in Sydney. It seems like Erik is very close to selection now and the media ‘experts’ at Fox are beginning to call for him to be included and imo he would be perfect in the midfield.

Matt Smith:

A bolter for the captaincy and perhaps a bolter for national team selection for his adopted home as well but Holger decided to include him in his camp so clearly he is in contention for future squads. His for firstly for North Queensland and now  Brisbane has been supurb and is no question a good option for the national side.

Michael Theoklitos:

Theo did make a couple of the 2011 Asian Cup Qualifier squads under the Verbeek reign (Indonesia away and Kuwait home) but failed to get any game time. He also was in the 50 man preliminary squad for the 2011 AFC Asian cup named by Osiek and just 2 weeks ago was called into a squad of A-League players under consideration for future squads.


It has been absolutly fantastic seeing  Brisbane Roar begin to dominate the national team setup, and long may this continue with the above 4 playerts and I wouldnt be suprised if they made their debuts in the Saudi Arabian home game if its a dead rubber. In part 2 tommrow I’ll take a look at Brfc players futher away for the Socceroos, but making their mark at junior age groups.


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