It’s been a reflective week for a lot of the coaches and players in this international window, with a couple special events and arrangements made within camp to celebrate the Socceroos’ 100-year anniversary.
Former head coach Guus Hiddink, who helped mastermind Australia’s famous qualification for the 2006 men’s World Cup, arrived in camp at the invitation of Graham Arnold a few days ago and took the opportunity to speak and spend time with the players.
Both men were also part of Football Australia’s official “Team of the Century” that was released today: a team made up of 23 players, a coach, and assistants selected by fans and historians through a voting process over the last few months.
Current head coach Graham Arnold and his assistant Tony Vidmar both made the cut: 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, the staff, and the media as part of the celebrations.
Interestingly, there are two current Socceroos included: midfielder Aaron Mooy, who’s recently linked up with Postecoglou at Celtic, and goalkeeper Maty Ryan.
At the opposite end of the field we’ve got, of course, Tim Cahill as well as John Aloisi, John Kosmina, Mark Viduka, and some lesser-known legends in Reg Date, Judy Masters and Alf Quill.
Mooy is joined in midfield by Mark Bresciano, Brett Emerton, Mile Jedinak, Harry Kewell, and the incomparable Johnny Warren, after whom the medal is named for the A_League Men’s best player.
And in the defensive line we’ve got 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 ebbs and flows of the Socceroos over the decades. You can see the generations of voters represented in some of those choices (I don’t know about you but that 2005 game against Uruguay was my Football Moment so Schwarzer and Aloisi absolutely had to be there).
Was there anyone unlucky not to be included? Comment below!