Mark Milligan: Mentality essential to #Socceroos success #AFCAsianCup2019


Socceroos captain Mark Milligan has commended the proactive and composed approach which set the platform for Friday’s surgical 3-0 win over Palestine.

Jamie Maclaren and Awer Mabil struck inside the opening 20 minutes at Rashid Stadium before Apostolos Giannou iced a result that corrected Australia’s course at AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™.

The dominant display came as a welcome response to last weekend’s defeat to Jordan with Milligan, who made a game-high 97 passes, particularly encouraged by his side’s understanding of what was required.

“We worked on different ways to break them down but I think the most important thing was our mentality,” Milligan told

“We were a little bit more patient and we kept moving the ball quickly.

“We wanted to make sure we picked our moments to go forward, we wanted to make sure we hit our rotations and timings.

“We know what it’s like when you don’t have the ball – it can be very tough. It’s always going to be hard to sustain.

“I think from the very beginning our intent was positive and we caused them problems.

“We wanted to make sure we kept them moving and we got an early goal which was very important as well.”

Arnold’s men can seal qualification for the knockout rounds with another three points against Syria on Tuesday.

The Asian Football Confederation’s sixth-ranked side is a familiar opponent for Australia, the two nations having squared off in the fourth round of FIFA World Cup qualifying in October 2017.

Milligan is aware of Syria’s potential to pose problems but encouraged his team-mates to again assert themselves on another key encounter.

“They’ve got some quality in their team and we just need to make sure we control things from early on,” the versatile veteran said.

“This group is still very tight and obviously with the best third places going through as well, we’ve all got a lot to play for.

“We need to make sure we start on the front foot again and dominate from early on.”

Source : Socceroos WEBSITE


3 years ago : @Socceroos defeats Oman 4-0 in AFC Asian Cup in second match

Sydney: A second straight four-goal haul means Australia and Korea Republic will battle for top spot in Group A in Brisbane at the weekend after Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos handed Oman a comprehensive 4-0 defeat at Stadium Australia on Tuesday evening to advance to the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015.

A draw will be enough for the tournament hosts on Saturday evening to win the group on goal difference and set up a quarter-final clash with the runners-up in Group B, after two goals in three minutes from Matt McKay and Robbie Kruse sent Australia on their way to an impressive victory.

A penalty from Mark Milligan and a close range strike from second-half substitute Tomi Juric added to Oman’s woes in a game in which Paul Le Guen’s side were totally outclassed.

Coupled with Korea’s 1-0 win over Kuwait earlier on Tuesday, the two quarter-finals berths from Group A have now been filled, with only the positions at the top of the table left to be determined.

McKay was drafted into the starting line-up as Postecoglou made three changes to the team that handed Kuwait a 4-1 thrashing in the opening game, with injured captain Mile Jedinak replaced by Mark Milligan, and McKay and Jason Davidson came in instead of James Troisi and Aziz Behich.

The changes did little to disrupt the rhythm of the Socceroos, who steadily took control of the game after an early scare, when Raed Saleh’s third minute thunderbolt from long range was brilliantly palmed to safety by Mat Ryan.

However, the Socceroos – just as they did against Kuwait in the tournament opener in Melbourne – slowly took control of the game and by the time the clock had ticked past the halfway point in the opening period, Australia were in total command.

Tim Cahill – captain for the night in Jedinak’s absence – twice went close with looping headers before McKay, one of the heroes of Australia’s run to the final in Qatar four years ago, put his side in front.

Robbie Kruse’s 27th minute corner from the Omani right was headed goalward by Trent Sainsbury and McKay scooped the ball over the line from close range to lift the majority of 50,276 fans to their feet.

Three minutes later the Australians doubled their advantage, with Kruse this time starting and finishing a fine move with a run from just inside his own half, laying the ball off to Massimo Luongo, whose return pass the Bayer Leverkusen striker slipped under Ali Al Habsi.

Milligan converted from the spot three minutes into first half injury time after Cahill was hauled down by Ali Al Busaidi as the Socceroos closed out an impressive opening 45 minutes with another goal.

Cahill and Luongo made way for Juric and Mark Bresciano five minutes after the restart and, with 20 minutes to go, Western Sydney Wanderers’ striker Juric put the seal on the win with a sliding finish after Leckie’s superb cross from the left with the outside of his right boot gave the Omandefence little chance.

Photo: WSG


Source  :  Asian Football Confederation Website

Milligan excited by Caltex Socceroos’ FIFA World Cup Draw

Caltex Socceroos midfielder Mark Milligan admits he’s ‘excited’ by Australia’s draw for next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia and believes they can be more than competitive on the world stage.

Australia will face France, Denmark and Peru at next year’s tournament after the draw was conducted on Saturday morning (AEDT) in Moscow.

And Milligan, who’s been involved in three previous FIFA World Cup tournaments, believes the Socceroos should be relatively pleased with their opponents.

“It’s very exciting. I think it’s the first we haven’t drawn a Brazil!” Milligan told

“We obviously have history playing against France and also Denmark a few years ago. I don’t think we’ve played Peru.

“As far as World Cup Draws go, I think it’s pretty good for us.”

WC Draw


Australia will be considered outsiders to progress from the group with with France (9th), Peru (11th) and Denmark (12th) all ranked higher than the Socceroos (39th).

But Milligan pointed to Australia’s Confederations Cup campaign, where they pushed Germany and drew with Cameroon and Chile, as evidence of the team’s ability to compete on the biggest stage.

“It’s exciting. We don’t get to play these teams a great deal, qualifying through Asia and South and North America if we go to a play-off, Milligan said.

“I think we’ve shown at the Confederations Cup which was quite recent, we can more than hold our own against the best in the World.

“Germany was a wonderful challenge. And of course Chile as well.

Mark Milligan


The Socceroos open the tournament against France in Kazan on June 16, before facing Denmark in Samara on June 22 and Peru in Sochi on June 27.

And Milligan believes a positive start against France will be important to Australia’s chances of progressing to the knockout stages.

“France will be a good challenge. It’s a tough way to start the tournament but if we can get a good performance and a good result, it’ll help us go deeper in the tournament,” he said.

Source  :  Socceroos Website

Milligan cautions against complacency, stressing ‘this tie is in the balance’

Key Australian midfielder Mark Milligan has warned about complacency ahead of the Caltex Socceroos’ biggest World Cup qualifier in four years.

On Wednesday night in their second leg World Cup qualifier intercontinental playoff, the Socceroos face Honduras in their final hurdle for a place at the 2018 World Cup.

It’s winner takes all at what will be close to a sold out at Stadium Australia.

Australia is, on paper, in a good position heading in to the second leg in Sydney after a 0-0 draw with Honduras on Saturday (AEDT) at the Stadio Olimpico Metropolitano.

“While it was a good performance and a decent result over there [in Honduras] we know that we can’t take anything for granted at all here at home.”

“The tie at the moment is definitely in the balance,” Milligan told reporters on Monday.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

And with the Hondurans flying in on a commercial flight arriving a day later than the Australians, who chartered a flight with the latest in recovery techniques for the players, much has been made of how well the Australians have prepared for the deciding second leg.

But in football, things can change very quickly.

An early goal to Los Catrachos, a referee decision that goes against the Socceroos or a red card and this tie can change very quickly.

“We need to start well, we need to control the match,” stressed Milligan.

“And that was one of the positives out of the other night, we started extremely well and as the game settled, we continued that momentum.”

Milligan was suspended for the first leg and therefore remained in Australia to prepare. It’s a huge bonus having the Victory star fit and fresh for such a crucial night.

Mark Milligan all smiles during Caltex Socceroos training in Melaka.


Given skipper Mile Jedinak’s physical condition, two full games over five days across continents may be too much for the Villa star who is only just on the comeback trail after a prolonged injury absence.

Milligan is a strong contender for a starting XI spot as a holding midfielder if Jedinak is rested.

“I’m definitely ready to step in if need be.

“Obviously these next two days are very important so I’m at my very best not just if I need to play but to make sure everybody is prepared well.

“That’s been our strength, it’s not just about 11 players, we’re a real unit and the whole group,” said Milligan.

The Socceroos will have their second training session at Stadium Australia on Monday night.

Source  :  Football Federation Australia Website

Who’ll start for the Caltex Socceroos against Thailand?

Socceroos starting XI.

Matthew Ryan;Bailey Wright,Matthew Spiranovic,Milos Degenek ,Alex Gersbach ; Mark Milligan , Massimo Luongo, Aaron Mooy ;Matthew Leckie,Tomi Juric,Jamie Mclaren

Source : Football Federation Australia

Mark Milligan ready for ‘biggest game in 10 years’

Mark Milligan is confident the Caltex Socceroos will get the job done against Thailand on Tuesday night.

Mark Milligan is confident the Caltex Socceroos will get the job done against Thailand on Tuesday night.

Mark Milligan believes a vocal home crowd could be decisive as the Caltex Socceroos go all-out in what the defender describes as the most important qualifier in a decade.


With Saudi Arabia currently enjoying a two-goal advantage on goal difference to Australia, a big win is paramount to boost the Caltex Socceroos’ hopes of automatic qualification to Russia 2018.

And a boisterous home crowd is vital, according to Milligan.

“There’s no more important game that I can recall over the last 10 years since we’ve been in Asia for qualification,” the stand-in skipper said.

“It’s important that they get out and know [Thailand is] not going to roll over.

“It’s going to be no easy feat for us on Tuesday but we’ll come ready and we’ll get the result needed.”

Group B table


A win over Thailand will put the pressure on Saudi Arabia to get a similar result in their final match against Japan in the early hours of Wednesday morning (AEST).

But regardless of what unfolds over the next few days, Milligan has no doubt the Caltex Socceroos will qualify for a fourth straight FIFA World Cup.

“Going to consecutive World Cups has been very important not just for the national team but for Australian football, the A-League and lower leagues,” Milligan said.

“I still truly believe that we will go out Tuesday night and we’ll put in a good performance.

“Whether it’s Wednesday that it’s announced that we’re going to a World Cup or whether we have to wait a bit longer, it will happen.

“Obviously that’s worst case scenario but there’s a long way before we have to hit that panic button.”

Caltex Socceroos v Thailand banner

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Caltex Socceroos fans pick their 23-man squad for Japan and Thailand

The Caltex Socceroos squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Thailand will be trimmed to 23 on Wednesday.

The Caltex Socceroos squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Thailand will be trimmed to 23 on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Ange Postecoglou will pick his 23-man Caltex Socceroos squad for Australia’s upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Japan and Thailand.

With these fixtures to decide Australia’s fate for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, we asked fans who they thought should be chosen in the Socceroos’ final squad.

And the votes are in! Here’s the 23-man Socceroos squad as chosen by the fans.


Mat Ryan, Mitch Langerak and Danny Vukovic.

*Ryan was clearly the most popular choice with almost 38% of the vote with Langerak and Vukovic the next two most preferred between the sticks.

Mat Ryan pulled off some big saves in Brighton's clash with Manchester City.


Trent Sainsbury, Bailey Wright, Matthew Spiranovic, Milos Degenek and Matt Jurman.

*Sainsbury was clearly first choice in the heart of the Socceroos defence ahead of the dependable Bailey Wright and the returning Matthew Spiranovic. Milos Degenek earned a call-up as did former Sydney FC centre-back Matt Jurman.

Caltex Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury clears the danger in the opening group game against Germany at the FIFA Confederations Cup.


Central midfielders – Aaron Mooy, Mile Jedinak, Mark Milligan, Jackson Irvine, Massimo Luongo and Mustafa Amini.

Wing-backs – Mathew Leckie, Brad Smith, Aziz Behich, Alex Gersbach.

*Huddersfield star Aaron Mooy was the popular choice amongst the fans just ahead of teammates Mat Leckie and Mark Milligan.

Aaron Mooy celebrates after scoring a superb winner for Huddersfield Town in the EPL against Newcastle United.


Tom Rogic, Tomi Juric, Tim Cahill, James Troisi and Robbie Kruse.

*Celtic ace Tom Rogic was the overwhelming choice of the Socceroos faithful ahead of the improving Tomi Juric and all-time leading scorer Tim Cahill.

Juric celebrates giving Australia a lifeline back into the match.

CALTEX SOCCEROOS 23-MAN SQUAD (as chosen by fans)

Mat Ryan, Mitch Langerak, Danny Vukovic, Trent Sainsbury, Bailey Wright, Matthew Spiranovic, Milos Degenek, Matt Jurman, Aaron Mooy, Mile Jedinak, Mark Milligan, Jackson Irvine, Massimo Luongo, Mustafa Amini, Mathew Leckie, Brad Smith, Aziz Behich, Alex Gersbach, Tom Rogic, Tomi Juric, Tim Cahill, James Troisi and Robbie Kruse.

Caltex Socceroos v Thailand banner

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Melbourne Victory sign Caltex Socceroo Mark Milligan as marquee

Sunday, 30 July 2017 

Melbourne Victory have confirmed the signing of Caltex Socceroos midfielder Mark Milligan as their marquee for the Hyundai A-League 2017/’18 season.
►With 81 games (all competitions) in the navy blue already to his name, Milligan will occupy the vacant marquee player slot on the club’s Hyundai A-League roster next season.
►Milligan joins fellow Socceroo Rhys Williams and New Zealand international Kosta Barbarouses as new signings to Kevin Muscat’s squad.
►Milligan has been playing in the Middle East for the past two seasons with UAE club Baniyas.
“To say we’re delighted is an understatement,” Victory boss Kevin Muscat said.
“Mark is a player who loves our club and to be able to secure him for next season is a massive shot in the arm.
“He’s still a pivotal member of the Socceroos set-up and will be an invaluable addition to our squad as we prepare for a busy campaign that also includes AFC Champions League commitments.
“I’m sure our fans will be thrilled with this news as the build up to next season continues.”
“This really couldn’t have worked out any better for me,” Milligan said.
“Playing in the Middle East was a great experience and one I’ll look back on very fondly. It certainly became home for my wife and family.


Could Mark Milligan be a candidate to return to the Hyundai A-League next season?

“When the opportunity to come back to Australia presented, Melbourne Victory was the only choice.”


Source  :  Football Federation Australia