Qantas Socceroo captain Lucas Neill has expressed his delight at the application of Australia’s next generation in the Korea Republic.
Qantas Socceroo captain Lucas Neill has expressed his delight at the application of Australia-s next generation in the Korea Republic.
Neill, along with seasoned campaigners Mark Schwarzer,Archie Thompson and Carl Valeri, led from the front for the Qantas Socceroos throughout their 2-1 triumph at the Hwaseong Stadium.
While Australia-s experienced section would provide the backbone for a well earned victory, the performance of the newcomers to the Qantas Socceroos squad was cause for particular celebration post-match.
“It-s very hard to get a great opinion after two days, but the attitude has been very good,” Neill said.
“There-s definitely talent in the squad and great credit to the guys, they didn-t come out and show too much nerve, a little bit of a slow start but when we got going, everybody took their opportunity.
“(Everybody) showed that they wanted to be out there, showed that they deserved to warrant a place in the squad and, in the end, we got what I felt was just rewards.”
While not exactly a squad newcomer, young gun James Holland certainly made the most of his rare start.
The Austria Vienna midfielder was among the Qantas Socceroos- best, adjusting seamlessly to the task of dictating the tempo of the Australia-s play.
“To get a result here is fantastic, against a fantastic team,” Holland said.
“I was happy with my overall performance, all the boys took their opportunity tonight, even the young boys like Aziz (Behich), Eli (Babalj) and Tommy Rogic that came on, they all put their hand up and it-s a credit to them and it-s a credit to the Hyundai A-League to see that these boys can come in and look so comfortable.
“We-ve definitely given Holger a bit of a head ache, which is good for Holger, I think!”
Young striker Mathew Leckie, who made his national team debut after previously starring at Qantas Young Socceroo level, had only a few minutes to showcase his qualities.
Never the less, the robust 21-year-old is relishing a follow up opportunity in green and gold on the back of Australia-s next generation making such a positive impression in Hwaseong.
“Definitely a great feeling to be able to come on and play for my country, hopefully I just go back to the club now and work hard and maybe be back in the upcoming camps,” Leckie said.
“It gives me motivation to want to come back and I think now being a year and a half since I-ve been back (to Australia), I-ve also become a better player and improved my game myself.
“It was good to be here with the boys and see how the level is at this stage and I-m going to try and get back into the next camp as fast as I can.”
The Qantas Socceroos return to Australia in 2013, for the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Oman at Sydney-s Stadium Australia at 7.30pm, Tuesday, 26 March, followed by Iraq, at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 18 June.
Tickets for both matches at Stadium Australia are on sale now through Ticketek or via phone, 132 849.