I think we can all agree in saying that the Socceroos aren’t at the worst place in their long history.
A recent AFC Champions League trophy, two wins from two games in the World Cup Qualifiers for Russia 2018 and quite a high rate of talent in the squad, as well as depth and consistency.
The Socceroos do in fact have an increased numbers of young guns on the rise that you may or may not have heard of.
Sydneysider Alex Gersbach is only 19 years of age. After a spell at Sydney FC he is now part of successful Norwegian club, Rosenborg BK after gaining attention after two season at the sky blues.
Gersbach certainly raised eyebrows after Sydney FC’s friendly with Chelsea FC during their tour to Sydney where he gave a few Chelsea stars a run for their money! Alex came through the AIS platform and spent time playing for the Ollyroos at the Rio games.
On June 4 2016, Gersbach made his first international appearance for the Socceroos, replacing Brad Smith against Greece in the 8second minute and later setting up Mathew Leckie’s last second winner.
Another Sydneysider! Christopher Ikonimidis has only played domestically in Australia for local NPLPS4NSW side Sutherland Sharks and as an unknown 15-year-old was spotted at an international tournament held in Manchester.
Chris is now a player for Serie A powerhouse, Lazio. He is currently out on loan at Danish club AGF. Previously to Chris signing for Lazio he was a youth player at Atalanta and was settled as a young 16-year-old by fellow Socceroo James Troisi, who was also at Atalanta at the time.
While Ikonimidis has also taken part in the Ollyroos, he has made his senior debut for Australia. Christopher was substituted on replacing Nathan Burns in the game against the Republic of Macedonia in Skopje on March 30, 2016. He earned his first senior Socceroos cap.
His competitive debut for the Socceroos came on 3 September 2015 during 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, when he was substituted on in the 61st minute during Australia’s 5–0 win over Bangladesh. Chris is an attacking player with loads of vision, he is definitely one to watch.
Daniel De Silva
Daniel De Silva, age 19, has joined three clubs. Perth Glory, AS Roma (interesting story) and is now at Roda JC in the Erdedvisie. De Silva scored his first goal for the Australia U20s in a man of the match performance against Colombia during the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in a 1–1 draw.
He was the second youngest A-League player to ever make a debut. A wonderful achievement for De Silva was when he found out he was included in Ange Postecoglou’s initial 43-man squad for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
Fact: De Silva was set to join AS Roma for a rumoured fee of $2.5m when Perth Glory did not receive the first instalment of payment therefore cancelled the transfer!
Ones to watch
© 2016 The Roar | This article first appeared on the Roar website on 9 September 2016