Brillante upbeat over Caltex Socceroos’ midfield battle

Recalled midfielder Josh Brillante admits it won’t be easy to achieve redemption for his late exclusion from the Caltex Socceroos’ last FIFA World Cup squad.

Brillante was a member of Australia’s extended roster for Brazil 2014 but was unable to force his way into the final 23.

And although he’s contending with the likes of Mile Jedinak, Mark Milligan and Massimo Luongo for a national team spot, the Sydney FC workhorse isn’t daunted by the prospect of breaking in from the outside.

“It’s probably one of the strongest parts of our team, the midfield,” Brillante told

“We’ve got a lot of good quality in the midfield so it’s going to be tough.

“But I see it as a learning experience. Learn off those guys and try to be better than them.

“That’s the aim, to keep improving. That’s what I’ll be looking to do.”

Josh Brillante 2014

Josh Brillante narrowly missed out in 2014.

With a string of trophies for Sydney FC and almost another two full seasons in the Hyundai A-League behind him, Brillante says he’s better placed now than he was four years ago.

“Obviously being involved up to the World Cup and being dropped just before is tough,” he said.

“But I was young back then and had a lot of learning and developing to do.

“Hopefully this time I can stand my ground in the team and put myself on the list to go away to the World Cup.

“I think as a player and a person I’ve grown up a bit more.”


Source : Socceroos Website

Rukavytsya ready to relive ‘unbelievable’ World Cup experience

Caltex Socceroos striker Nikita Rukavytsya is hoping history repeats itself as he zeroes in on an unexpected FIFA World Cup berth.

The 30-year-old flyer was a surprise recall for last year’s do-or-die play-offs against Syria and Honduras having spent the previous four years in the international wilderness.

But a purple patch of form for Israeli club Maccabi Haifa – for whom he has netted nine league goals this season – has the ex-Western Sydney Wanderers man right in the frame for a ticket to Russia.

Should he win a place in the 23-man squad, it would make for remarkably similar circumstances to those which saw him appear as a fresh-faced 22-year-old at South Africa 2010.Rukavytsya

The Perth Glory product fired his way into calculations with a timely goal glut at Belgian outfit Roeselare, where he was on loan from FC Twente.

“It was a dream come true. It’s not something you can really explain until you experience it,” Rukavytsya told of the experience.

“I was pretty young back then. To be a part of it and to play at a World Cup is unbelievable.

“Hopefully I can push on and it can be my second one.”

Tim Cahill, Mile Jedinak and Mark Milligan were also present in 2010 and remain among the 26 players currently in Oslo for Bert van Marwijk’s first training camp.

Rukavytsya debuted for Australia in 2009.

Having previously rubbed shoulders with the likes of Harry Kewell and Mark Bresciano, Rukavytsya views the current crop of hopefuls as capable of doing some damage.

“Now it’s a new generation,” he said.

“The boys are playing in some good leagues and at some good clubs. I’m sure we have a good team and we can really compete.”

And as for his message to players who may be looking to write a similar selection script to the speedster?

“You just have to keep working and doing your best,” he said.

“In the back of your mind the World Cup should push you to do better. Just do your best and enjoy the experience leading up to it.”


Source : Socceroos Website

Leckie pleased with ‘modern’ Van Marwijk’s Caltex Socceroos plans

Key winger Mathew Leckie has embraced the encouraging early evidence of new coach Bert van Marwijk’s plans for the Caltex Socceroos.

In his first camp in charge, Van Marwijk has laid the foundations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup campaign by urging the use of quick, crisp passing.

The Dutchman’s approach has made a positive impression on Leckie, who is in line to win his 50th cap when Australia meet Norway at the Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo on Saturday morning (AEDT).

“His history shows he’s a great coach,” Leckie told reporters.

“He’s been here and he knows how it is. Just the couple of meetings we’ve had have been really convincing.

“He wants to move the ball quickly and play fast. We’ll look more over that in the next few days but I think he really wants to play the modern way.

“The more we do, the better we’ll get at it. He hasn’t really cemented the formation we’ll play but we trained the 4-2-3-1 yesterday.”

Bert van Marwijk
Van Marwijk coached Netherlands to the 2010 FIFA World Cup final.


Leckie will notch up a half-century of international appearances if he features against either Norway or Colombia in London next week.

The 27-year-old, who debuted for Australia in 2012, already boasts a catalogue of fond memories, including a breakout role at the last FIFA World Cup and subsequent success at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

“It’s a huge accomplishment for me,” the Hertha Berlin man said.

“It’s all happened pretty quick. I’ve only been part of the national team for four years but I’ve been able to stay healthy and play the majority of games.

“I’ve had a lot of success with the Asian Cup and big moments in qualifying.

“It’s been an incredible journey and hopefully many more to come.”


Source : Socceroos Website

Bert Van Marwijk stresses importance of training ahead of FIFA World Cup

Resultado de imagem para Bert van Marwijk  Euro 2012

New Caltex Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk is convinced a solid block of training will prove hugely beneficial in implementing his vision for Australia.

Fresh from a flight from Europe, the new boss spoke to the assembled media for the first time at a press conference at FFA HQ in Sydney.

With two friendly matches in late March, in Oslo against Norway and in London with a clash against Colombia, there’s little time for the 65-year-old Dutchman to implement his ideas on the team.

Hence, as he was keen to point out, the importance of a solid block of training before the World Cup.

“Training is very important to me,” Van Marwijk stressed.

“As a coach of a national team, you have not so much time. So for example we have two games in March. We come together on Monday in Oslo March 19.

“The players play on the weekend and have to travel so they can’t train on Monday. And Tuesday you can hardly do anything.

“So you have only two days – Wednesday and Thursday – to prepare and to get to know the players. That’s not so much [time].

“And we travel to London where you have only maybe two other training days.

“I like to train because you can improve the team and also the players,” he said.

The solid block of training was a strategy used in 2006 when Dutch coach Guus Hiddink took the Socceroos for an intense camp in Holland.

It worked beautifully, with a super-fit and well-organised Aussie team making it through the group stage at Germany 2006.

“A lot of countries play a lot of friendly games,” Van Marwijk added.

“When I can make the decision, I would not play a lot of friendly games. I’d train more.”

FFA CEO David Gallop added he’d had preliminary discussions with Van Marwijk about a friendly game in May before the World Cup.

“There are some options for a farewell game in Australia but we are in no way locked into anything. We’ll work through that over the next few weeks,” said Gallop.

Van Marwijk also noted Australia’s training facilities in Russia were very much to his liking.

“For me, it’s very important we have a very good training pitch [in Russia] and they [FFA] assured me we have a good training pitch.

“And the distance from the hotel to training pitch is important. In Kazan we can walk to the training pitch, for me that’s very important.”


Source :  Socceroos WEBSITE

Bert Van Marwijk hints at playing style of his Caltex Socceroos

New Caltex Socceroos Bert van Marwijk has given an insight on how he wants his Australian side to play, drawing on the tactics of Pep Guardiola’s EPL leading Manchester City.

While van Marwijk concedes “it won’t be easy” to get out of a tricky group – featuring France, Denmark and Peru – at June’s FIFA World Cup, he could have a playing style which could make it happen.

The 65-year-old said one of his biggest challenges will be getting the side playing in a way that gives them a chance to win matches but declared he’ll do whatever it takes to be successful.

Using the example of EPL giants Manchester City, van Marwijk said a “modern” style will be how he’ll set up this Australian team. Bert van Marwijk

 “Maybe we don’t have the best players but we can be the best team. When you have good team, the players know what to do, they trust each other and they trust us [coaching staff], and you play in a modern way,” van Marwijk said.

“I’m a coach that likes to have the ball and likes to play combination football. Then you have influence on the game.

“But in modern football you also have to have influence on the game when you don’t have the ball. That’s very important. In modern football it’s only about transition.

“100 years ago the pitch was the same size as now. But the players are bigger, faster and stronger. The food is better, the tactics are better.

“But the pitch is the same size. So it’s all about space.

“For example Manchester city may be the best team in the world this moment. Every game they always have the most ball possession, but they score most of their goals in transition. That’s very interesting.”

Van Marwijk was appointed as the coach to lead Australia to the FIFA World Cu, taking the reins from Ange Postecoglou who quit after qualifying the Caltex Socceroos via the play-offs.

The new boss said there was nothing wrong with the philosophy of his predecessor but is adamant he’ll do things “his way”.

“I have respect for the former coach, (but) I do it in my way,” van Marwijk said.

“I go to the World Cup with only one thing that counts, (and that’s) to survive the first round.

“I think it’s important that we play in a way that fits the players and also the coach. You cannot play in a way the players cannot do, and when they don’t like to play in a way you want to play, then you make a mistake.”

Van Marwijk will begin assessing players immediately and will take in three Hyundai A-League clashes this weekend.

He’ll take charge of his first matches as coach when the Caltex Socceroos play friendlies against Norway and Colombia next month.


Source : Socceroos WEBSITE

Bert Van Marwijk on his coaching philosophy and building “flexible” Caltex Socceroos style

Resultado de imagem para Bert van Marwijk  Euro 2012

Flexibility will be the hallmark of new Caltex Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk as he ramps up his preparations for his first games in charge of Australia next month.

Van Marwijk has just seven weeks before he gets his first test as the Australian coach, with back-to-back friendlies against Norway and Colombia in Europe.

Speaking on Fox Sports’ The A-League Hour on Monday night, the former Netherlands and Saudi Arabia mentor admitted every session will be crucial as the players try to learn the way he wants them to play.

He said while it’s important to have a philosophy you stick to, there must always be a degree of flexibility.

“Players must understand how you want to play and it must also fit to the players. They must be capable of doing what you want,” van Marwijk said on Fox Sports.

“The best situation is that it also fits the coach. I like to be a little bit flexible. I’m not a coach who says we can play four, five, six systems.

“It’s very difficult to let a team play in a certain way that they trust each other and know what to do. But within the way of playing you must be flexible. That’s easy to say but in practice it’s very difficult.

“That costs time. But I realise we don’t have the time. Now, with seven weeks to watch all the players and to play the two games, we can hardly train. So the real preparation starts in May when we can really train.”

Bert van Marwijk

Van Marwijk said the Caltex Socceroos’ testing road to qualify for the FIFA World Cup showed there is a strong mentality within Australian players.

As manager of Saudi Arabia – who played Australia twice in qualifying – van Marwijk analysed the Caltex Socceroos squad closely and was impressed by many facets of their game.

“When you see them on the pitch they give you the feeling they like to play football,” the Dutchman said.

“I knew the mentality is very strong and you have a great sports culture. They are physically strong and have the right mentality.

“The other things that are important in football are speed and creativity. I think you [Australia] can play football. The important thing for me is to create a really good team.

“My experience at the World Cup in 2010 and 2002 with Feyenoord, when we won the UEFA Cup, is that we didn’t have the best players, but we had the best team.”


Source :  Socceroos WEBSITE

3 years ago : @Socceroos win AFC Asian Cup 2015 defeating South Korea in final

The Socceroos celebrate Massimo's Luongo's opening goal in the Asian Cup final.

The Socceroos are the Asian champions after completing a fairytale tournament by beating Korea Republic 2-1 after extra-time in a gripping Asian Cup final on Saturday night.

In an epic decider substitute James Troisi struck a truly golden-goal in the 105th minute, blasting home from close range after Kim Jin Hyeon spilled Tomi Juric’s cross into his path.

Australia looked like they would win the match in normal time, leading right until the death through midfielder Massimo Luongo’s first half scorcher.

But deep in stoppage time at the end of the match, Korean superstar Son Heung Min stunned Ange Postecoglou’s side with a powerful finish to save his team and send the match to extra-time.

Somehow the Aussies regrouped and found some more energy with the two substitutes combining for a superb winner.

Juric looked well-shackled by two defenders on the by-line but flicked the ball between the legs of Kim Jin Su before regaining possession and crossing, with Troisi in the right spot to smash it in and secure an historic victory.

Beaten finalists four years ago the Socceroos weren’t to be denied this time, reversing the defeat to Korea from the group stage a fortnight ago as well as vindicating Postecoglou’s regeneration of the squad since he took over 14 months ago.

While Troisi was the match-winner the home side had contributors all over the park.

Luongo – who has emerged as the Socceroos superstar at this tournament had another brilliant game, skipper Mile Jedinak immense in the middle of the park, while central defenders Matthew Spiranovic and Trent Sainsbury thwarted a  host of Korean attacks.

For the visitors – who hadn’t conceded a goal in the tournament until Luongo struck – their 55-year wait for an Asian Cup crown will go on for another four years at least.

A sell-out crowd of almost 77,000 made for a cracking atmosphere in Stadium Australia, giving all the ingredients for what was to be a special night.

Socceroos defender Ivan Franjic overcame a hip problem to start and was in the action straight away, picking up a yellow card for a cynical tug-back on Park Joo Ho.

It was the hosts who fired the first warning shot through Jedinak, his powerful free-kick from 25-metres out dipping just over Jin Hyeon’s crossbar.

With so much at stake it was no surprise that there was plenty of feeling in the opening exchanges as both sides were guilty of some crunching challenges.

The match then sprung to life midway through the first half with chances at either end in the space of a minute.

First it was the Koreans who were inches away from taking the lead, Kwak Taehwi heading wide from close range from a pinpoint Ki Sung Yueng free-kick.

Before the visitors had time to rue that miss they were almost behind themselves.

Robbie Kruse got free down the right and put in an early cross with Tim Cahill getting in front of his marker and then firing off a shot which Jin Hyeon did well to parry wide.

The Koreans then enjoyed a dominant spell with star winger Son at the centre of most of their dangerous moments.

The Bayer Leverkusen man saw a superb volley float just wide of Mat Ryan’s post eight minutes before the break and a minute later it was only a sliding Luongo challenge that deflected his goal-bound shot over the bar.

A free-kick right on the edge of the box soon after presented the next scare for the hosts but Ki’s effort didn’t have enough power to trouble Ryan.

Just when it seemed like the Socceroos would be happy to hold on until half-time, their new star delivered a gem.

Receiving the ball in traffic 30-metres from goal, Luongo turned with the ball, took one step forward then unleashed a thunderous shot into the bottom corner.

The Stadium Australia crowd – nervous just minutes earlier – erupted with joy as the entire Socceroos side wheeled off to celebrate.

Postecoglou’s men now had just 45 minutes to hold on to secure the crown.

Chasing the game it was no surprise the Koreans lifted the tempo on the resumption. They were getting plenty of joy down the flanks but the Socceroos were doing well to repel the danger.

Set pieces were causing Australia trouble and Kwak got on the end of another free-kick and this time headed straight at Ryan.

The Socceroos weren’t about to park the bus and Mathew Leckie forced a smart save on the hour mark before Trent Sainsbury headed just wide  from the ensuing corner.

As fatigue started to set in Postecoglou called on the fresh legs of Tomi Juric and James Troisi for Cahill and Kruse.

Franjic lasted 74 minutes before his troublesome hip gave way, forcing a reshuffle with Mark Milligan reverting to right-back and Matt McKay coming on in midfield.

The Koreans continued to apply the pressure without seriously threatening Ryan’s goal but just when it looked like the Socceroos would hold on, Son pounced in stoppage time.

The Australian defence failed to clear a bouncing ball with Ki sliding in Son who produced a classy finish past Ryan to send the final into extra-time.

It was their substitutes Juric and Troisi combined to get the Socceroos back in front and this time there would be no late fight-back from Korea.

Australia (Luongo 45’, Troisi 105’)

Korea Republic (Son 90+2)

Crowd: 76,385

Source  :  Football Federation Australia Website