Thursday, June 3, 2010

Australia 23-man Final Squad for World Cup Football 2010

Australia’s final squad for the World Cup Football 2010 has been announced by coach Pim Verbeek on 1 June. The only surprise is the naxing of versatile Middlesbrough defender Rhys Williams. Verbeek indicated his pelvic injury as the reason behind his exclusion.

Australia final squad includes only 2 players from Australian football league with English Premier League being the highest contributor with 7 players in the 23-man squad. There are also players from the national leagues of Turkey, Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Japan and Germany.

Besides Rhys Williams, four other players including Shane Lowry, Tommy Oar, Eugene Galekovic and James Holland have failed to make the final cut.

Australian defense looks pretty much experienced with 5 out of 7 defenders being 28 or over and having 25 or more caps each to their credit. Captain Lucas Neill and Craig Moore, who is currently uncertain about his future at the club level, are most likely to start in the centre of the defense with Beauchamp and Milligan being the two quality back ups for the veteran duo.

Luke Wilkshire would start in the right back with versatile Beauchamp and Milligan being two other options for the position. Verbeek would have to choose between Chipperfield and Carney to deploy on the left back.

There are 10 defenders in the squad. Australian midfield looks pretty much balanced in the presence of experienced as well as young players. Grella, Culina, Jedinak and Valeri are the defensive midfielders, while Tim Cahill, Mark Bresciano and Dario Vidošić are capable of providing attacking spark. Holman and Garcia are the two options on the right wing with Emerton being the only option for the left wing.

Harry Kewell will lead Australia’s forward line up with Joshua Kennedy and Nikita Rukavytsya being the two other options for Verbeek. Galatasaray striker Kewell missed a lot of actions last season due to injury and it seems that Kennedy would have to play an important role for the Socceroos. Rukavytsya, at 22, is the youngest member of the squad, but given his talent and skill, he could be a vital member for Australia in South Africa.

There are many who consider Kewell as an attacking-minded midfielder being used either in the wing or as a second striker. In a 4-2-3-1 formation, he would most likely be seen in the wing with Tim Cahill operating in the middle. However, if Verbeek opts for a traditional 4-4-2 formation, Kewell may pair up with Kennedy in the up front.

Here is the final squad of Australia for the FIFA World Cup 2010:




Mark Schwarzer (Fulham), Adam Federici (Reading FC), Brad Jones (Middlesbrough FC)


Scott Chipperfield (FC Basel), Luke Wilkshire (Dynamo Moscow), Michael Beauchamp (Melbourne Heart), Lucas Neill (Galatasaray SK), Mark Milligan (JEF United), Craig Moore (free agent), David Carney (FC Twente),


Mark Bresciano (US Palermo), Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers), Vincenzo Grella (Blackburn Rovers), Jason Čulina (Gold Coast United), Carl Valeri (US Sassuolo), Tim Cahill (Everton), Mile Jedinak (Antalyaspor), Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar), Richard García (Hull City), Dario Vidošić (FC Nuremberg)


Joshua Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus), Harry Kewell (Galatasaray SK), Nikita Rukavytsya (FC Twente)

Australian squad looks pretty much balanced. The squad is not over-aged or under-aged. The average age of the squad is around 28 (28.43) which is almost similar to the 2006 squad’s average age of about 28 (27.91). There are 9 players from the 2006 World Cup squad who are missing the South Africa tournament this year.

The median age of the current squad is 28, while there are 3 mode ages: 25, 28 and 30- meaning most of the players are in the 25-30 age range. In fact, there are 14 players in the squad who are in the age range of 25-30. This is perhaps the age when players are no more inexperienced and are not over-aged. So, it seems most of the Australian players are at an age when they are most likely to be bale to give their best.

There are only 6 players who are above 30 and 3 players below 25. The oldest member of the squad is 37-year-old goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, while 22-year-old Nikita Rukavytsya is the youngest player in the side.

The average appearance of the Australia squad is 37 and there are 15 players who have played 21 or more games for Australia. Four years back, the average match of the squad was around 35 (34.5) and there were 12 players who had 21 or more caps for Australia.

So, Australia’s current squad in many ways is more experienced and balanced than the squad that played four years back. Pim Verbeek has picked up an excellent blend of experience and youth in the squad.

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