SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 21: (EDITORS NOTE: Multiple exposures were combined in camera to produce this image.) Tom Rogic of Australia poses during a Socceroos Portrait Session on March 21, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images) Photo: act\chris.wilsonAnge Postecoglou wants to create a new ”golden generation” and Canberra young gun Tom Rogic is part of the Socceroos coach’s vision, which is sweeping beyond this year’s World Cup in Rio de Janeiro to the next in Russia in 2018.
Fellow Canberran Carl Valeri is among those fighting for a ”limited number” of spots available for veterans at Rio.
Rogic was picked in the 23-man squad to play Ecuador in a friendly in London on Wednesday after his A-League club Melbourne Victory cleared him of serious damage to the ankle he injured last weekend.
Victory was expecting the attacking midfielder to be fit for Saturday’s derby against Melbourne Heart and Postecoglou said if he was fit enough to play for his club, he was fit enough to play for his country.
Postecoglou is trying to rebuild the Socceroos as the careers of players such as Tim Cahill near their end.
Rogic, on loan from Scottish giant Celtic, is clearly part of that future and an option in attack given a long-term injury to Robbie Kruse.
”The time for us has come to look to this World Cup and the next World Cup and try and build a new golden generation of footballers,” Postecoglou said.
”The make-up of this squad is what it will look like moving forward. It’s good to see [Rogic] playing again. We’ll have to see how he gets through with his injury on the weekend, but if he’s fit and available then he’s one we can give that [attacking midfield] opportunity to. But beyond that it’s up to the individual players. I’m not going to say it’s one or another, I think there’s a number of them.”
Postecoglou omitted Valeri from the squad. The former Tuggeranong United junior is recovering from a leg injury suffered in late 2012. Valeri, struggling to get game time for Italian Serie A club Sassuolo, switched to Ternana, in Serie B, last month to improve his chances of playing in Rio.
”He’s getting some game time, limited at the moment, at his club, but with him game time is going to be very important this back half of the year,” Postecoglou said.
”The reality of it is we can only take a limited number of players who fit that experienced age bracket to the World Cup.
”If we’re going to rebuild the team, that means giving opportunity to players who will be around for the next World Cup. So there’s a limited number of spots for those experienced players and the No.1 criteria for the ones that fill those spots will be game time and form.
”That’s the challenge to all of them between now and May.”
The Socceroos face a tough first-round draw in Rio, up against Spain, the Netherlands and Chile in June.Socceroos squad
To play Ecaudor in London next week: Oliver Bozanic, Tim Cahill, Jason Davidson, Ivan Franjic, Curtis Good, Ben Halloran, Chris Herd, James Holland, Mile Jedinak, Brad Jones, Mitchell Langerak, Matthew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Ryan McGowan, Matthew McKay, Mark Milligan, Tommy Oar, Tom Rogic, Matt Ryan, Adam Sarota, Matthew Spiranovic, Dario Vidosic, Luke Wilkshire.