Monday, January 19, 2009

Culina Come's Home, Earlier Than Expected.

So I was reading an interview shere Pim Verbeek was talking about Jason Culina taking a position with next season's A league debutant franchise Gold Coast FC. He said that at first he was against Culina moving to the a-league, because it's a step down in class, but now he thinks it will be good for his family and therefore his football or some such malarkey. In the same breath he began to say how players such as Jade North and Sasa Ogenovska we're making a mistake for playing for K-league sides because, although the money may be better, the standard is below that of the A-league.

Two thing's struck me form this assessment, the first is that Verbeek must think Australia produces better players than any other AFC country. Korea is, in terms of international tournament success, equal with Japan or any other AFC team. To say that the K-league isn't up to A-league standard intimates that when you compare our B-teams, Australia is superior. Your B-team is important for dead rubbers but also indicates the national threshold of mediocrity, which raises the bar for the European superstars who need to live up to their bank balances when they share locker rooms. But what is surprising is that with for Verbeek's K-League experience he considers it inferior to the Australian equivalent in the infancy of it's third season(the K league some 22 seasons it's senior).

The other ties into this, if players of Culina's quality can come back with some zip still in their stride than that raises the level of the A-league. This raises the standard our European stars need to be to make the team, plus helps us win dead rubbers. As long as diamonds in the rough such as Scott McDonald and Josh Kennedy keep turning up then we can afford players of Culina's quality to reduce their workload and perhaps increase their longevity. Maybe, definitely, I'm biased, but if we can have a strong home team of yesterdays superstars and up and comers, only to be added to with European class where possible, it bodes well for the future and present squad depth.

I was hoping to put the actual interview in, but unfortunately it it isn't on the SMH website, but it's probably only a matter of time.

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