Brisbane and the National Team

The Socceroos are going to Brazil! A year from now Australia will compete in a 4th Word Cup, and a 3rd in succession, and both current and former Brisbane players have been crucial to qualifying with no less than 9 players in the squad. It’s not just at the Socceroos level however that Brisbane have been developing players for the national team, so lets take a look through Brisbane’s role in the recent success of the Australian National Teams.

Starting with the Socceroos, Brisbane’s presence in the squad has grown steadily over the past 12-18 months to the point where there was no less than 9 current or former player in the squad. Brosque, Ognenovski, Vidosic, McKay, Kruse, Zullo, Oar, Franjic and Jade North were apart of the recent squad that sealed qualification to Brazil 2014. In addition to that Mitch Nichols, Erik Paartalu and Adam Sarota have all either player or been apart of the extended squad in the World Cup campaign.

In terms of tournament squads, Brisbane had three former players at South Africa 2010, with Dario Vidosic, Craig Moore and Tommy Oar all either making the final 23, or being apart of the extended squad. Expect that number to be atleast doubled in 12 months time. The Asian Cup of 2011 also saw a distinct Brisbane flavour to the squad with the then club captain Matt McKay putting on some standout showings in the midfield. Kruse, Vidosic and Ognenovski all played their parts in the run to the final aswell.

It’s not just at the senior level though, with the U/20 World Cup kicking off in Turkey over the weekend, and Brisbane’s James Donachie will fly the flag for the Roar in a tournament which has seen many young emerging Brisbane players take part. He’ll be joined in Turkey by his former NYL teammate Jason Geria who’s since departed for Melbourne Victory. Through the years players like Danning, Oar and Acton (2011) and DeVere, Nichols, Oar and Minnieccon (2009) have all represented the Roar at the tournament. At Olyroos level Mitch Nichols was the captain for the ill-fated attempts to qualify for London 2012 and was joined at various times by Danning, Visconte, Redmayne DeVere and Fitzgerald, meanwhile in the Beijing 2008 campaign Vidosic, Zullo and Kruse all played a role in qualifying but were left out of the tournament when it came around.

It’s also important to point out it’s not just in the men’s game where Brisbane players are hogging the limelight in the international team, with the Matildas also having a strong Brisbane contingent lead by current captain of the women’s national team Clare Polkinghorne. The women recently played a two game series with New Zealand that saw 9 girls in the squad. (Polkinghorne, Carroll, Alleway, Popovic, Kellond-Knight, Butt, Chapman, Gorry and Gielnik). There were also 7 players in both the 2011 World Cup squad which reached the quarter finals, and the 2010 Asian Cup which they won on penalties in the final.

While other clubs have had their hand in the development of the players aswell down the years, it’s fantastic to see so many either current or former players in the national teams, and as we all look forward to booking our tickets to Rio, there could be more than a couple familiar faces in the squad as we take on the worlds best.

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