It’s been a thoughtful week for many coaches and players in this international window, with a few special events and arrangements being made within camp to celebrate the Socceroos’ 100th anniversary.
Former head coach Guus Hiddink, who helped oversee Australia’s famous qualifiers for the 2006 Men’s World Cup, came to the camp a few days ago at the invitation of Graham Arnold and took the opportunity to talk and spend time with the players.
Both men were also part of Football Australia’s official ‘Team of the Century’, released today: a team of 23 players, a coach and assistants chosen in a voting process by fans and historians over the past few months.
Current head coach Graham Arnold and his assistant Tony Vidmar both made it: Arnold was listed as an assistant alongside Ange Postecoglou and Rale Rasic under the brilliant Guus Hiddink who was flown into this camp to speak to the players, staff and team Media during the celebrations.
Interestingly, two current Socceroos are included: midfielder Aaron Mooy, who recently worked with Postecoglou at Celtic, and goalkeeper Maty Ryan.
At the other end of the field we have Tim Cahill of course, as well as John Aloisi, John Kosmina, Mark Viduka and some lesser known legends in Reg Date, Judy Masters and Alf Quill.
Mooy will be joined in midfield by Mark Bresciano, Brett Emerton, Mile Jedinak, Harry Kewell and the incomparable Johnny Warren, for whom the A_League Men’s Best Player medal is named.
And on the defensive line we have Scott Chipperfield, Joe Marston, Craig Moore, Lucas Neill, Alex Tobin, Tony Vidmar and Peter Wilson. Mark Schwarzer and Jimmy McNabb join Ryan in goal.
It’s a fascinating final list that reflects the ups and downs of the Socceroos over the decades. You can see the generations of voters represented in some of these decisions (I don’t know about you, but the 2005 game against Uruguay was my soccer moment, so Schwarzer and Aloisi had to be there).
Was anyone unlucky enough not to be there? Comment below!