In Ozzie football forumland, one of the more lively debates is the “best development pathway” one …
Should the kiddies stay at home and get game time, or should they head overseas ASAP so that they can get the best technical training possible as well as experience the greater competition for places?
Is this discussion even possible? I mean, using kid A as an example of how kiddies should stay home/go early is flawed IMHO. Because we have no way of knowing whether kid A would have succeeded using the other course of action. If Kid A is flawed, and lacks something, isn`t it possible that they would also fail using the other option? Or if they did have the X factor, couldn`t they succeed either way? Unless we find some identical twins, with identical skills and personalities, and send one OS and keep the other in the A-league …sorry, went into fantasy land for a second …
Hell, is it even a definite that there is one pathway that will work for all players?
So even looking at the national team in 2012 probably won`t tell us much … we will be able to see which group the players have come from; but won`t say anything about which approach works better.
Even so, I got curious about our young leavers. It felt like Rhys Williams and Shane Lowry came out of nowhere. So I went to this website
Whacked their spreadsheet into excel, and had a little play. Had a look for players born in the 1990s. Ignored anyone playing at regional level. Some interesting things.
Seems that there is a 16 year old Aussie midfielder playing in Bayern Munich`s youth team. Another kid is on Valencia`s books. Jason Davidson (ex-socceroo father, spent time playing in Japan`s youth system) skipped the A-league and went over to Portugal. Kids in senior squads – 6. Number of starters – 2. 3 kids in reserve squads.
OK, so these guys aren`t really gonna be fighting for NT positions in 2012. When might these kids be on the NT radar? 2014 maybe?
Whatever happens, expect a lot of turnover post WC.