The PFA wishes to congratulate the 2007 Socceroo debutants, so far including Daniel Allsopp, Nathan Burns, Brad Jones, Shane Stefanuto and Carl Valeri.

National team coach, Graham Arnold, has continued efforts to provide previously uncapped players with exposure to international football, with the hope of building a larger selection pool of quality players for the Socceroos. The development of a bigger base will also offset potential retirements from international football and provide flexibility and options for the increased workload of the Socceroos due to Australia’s inclusion into the Asian Football Confederation.

It is pleasing to see that quality performances by the A-League’s top goal scorer in 2006/07, Daniel Allsopp (Melbourne Victory), warranted a national team call up, along with Adelaide United’s promising young striker Nathan Burns.  Nathan was recently handed his cap by Australian Cricket legend Steve Waugh (pictured above) shortly after his debut against Singapore.

Goal keeper Brad Jones is emerging from the shadows of compatriot and Middlesborough team mate Mark Schwarzer, putting in a strong performance against Uruguay. Shane Stefanuto, left full back for Lillestrom (Norway), was given his chance to impress in the 2-0 win against China, hoping to stamp his name on left sided positions. Carl Valeri, currently with Grossetto (Italy), also put in a composed and solid performance against China, filling in for Vince Grella in the holding midfield role.

There is no doubt that Carl and Brad will gain great experience from the mentoring offered by Steve Waugh and the remainder of the Socceroo squad as they challenge for the title of Asia’s best team in the Asian Cup starting on 7 July 2007. Australia’s first game is against Oman on Saturday 8 July 2007. Go Socceroos!