Five A-League players with Socceroos potential

As Australia prepare for a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Thailand, The World Game scans the A-League line-ups to see which players appear most capable of breaking into the national squad over the next year or two.

Hoole

Andrew Hoole in action for Newcastle Jets Source: Getty Images

1. Brandon O'Neill (Sydney FC, holding midfielder, 22)

He was only a fringe player at Perth Glory, but Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold saw the potential and it is being realised. Made inroads with the Sky Blues last season and is now a regular starter, keeping the club's player of the year from last season, Milos Dimitrijevic, out of the side. Don't be fooled by the baby face, this son of an Irish boxer is tough as well as skilful. Mile Jedinak and Mark Milligan are each in their 30s. Socceroos spots are going to open up eventually.

2. Dylan McGowan (Adelaide United, centre-back, 25)

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The brother of Australia international Ryan McGowan can't have been far off representing once or twice in the past and he is still young enough to break through. After their poor start to last season, Adelaide became miserly in defence during their run to the title and McGowan was an integral part of that. He is calm and confident in the penalty box. Another A-League season like his last one, backed up with a strong AFC Asian Champions League campaign, and he will have moved closer.

3. Bruce Kamau (Melbourne City, winger, 21)

Wants it bad, which is a good start, and has the benefit of being a promising young player who can pick the brains of superstar Tim Cahill at Melbourne City. He's got the speed and the skill. View the replay of City's second goal against Newcastle Jets on Thursday night and see Kamau get away from his man and then whip in a beautiful cross for Bruno Fornaroli to score. The big match doesn't seem to faze him - scored the opener for Adelaide United in last season's grand final.

4. Corey Brown (Brisbane Roar, left-back, 22)

Would have played a lot more A-League by now, but was held up behind Shane Stefanutto at Brisbane Roar. Now, with Stefanutto having retired at the end of last season, he is making great strides as a regular starter. The son of former Socceroos striker Rod Brown, he can get up and down the field, cross accurately and can be physical and fiery, like his red hair suggests. Solid pedigree in Australia under 17, 20 and 23 teams. No reason he can't take the ultimate step.

5. Andrew Hoole (Newcastle Jets, winger, 23)

The most intriguing member of this quintet. Arguably the hottest young player in the A-League two years ago, but then he left Newcastle for Sydney FC and for whatever reason it didn't work out. Now he's back at the Jets and showing positive signs. The question still to be answered is what is Hoole's best position. He's playing wing now, but could he be a playmaker? Needs to start scoring goals from general play. That would be a big confidence-booster.


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3 min read
Published 11 November 2016 at 5:09pm
By Greg Prichard