So there are 4? AFC players in the A league next season?
We can’t afford them. True. Are we also being overly picky? I think so. A starter in Japan, China or Korea will earn more at home than in the A-league. Ummm, also the middle east, Vietnam and Thailand. And there is that State league level guy making better than average a-leaguer money in India.
We can’t offer them a better preparation for Europe than their home league. A young player who is interested in Europe who is starting in Korea or Japan has a better learning environment at home than the A-league (given where young Japanese and Korean players are going to in Europe, and how much playing time they are getting there – I don’t think there is any argument about this).
What can we offer them?
Playing time. Someone who is just on the fringe of first team action, but is getting on a bit (22, 23) and really needs to make something happen career wise. Yes, 22 is now getting on a bit. When 18 year olds are starting and being major players, not getting game time at 22 is a problem.
English language environment. Someone who isn’t quite there, but wants to play in the UK. They can come to a less demanding league than the Championship, be away from home (but half the distance), and live in an English speaking environment. This one is a stretch – they can learn English with a tutor at home.
Australia. Lots of Asian people look at Australia fondly. Koalas, Uluru, Kangaroos, Blondes in really small bikinis – its a great place to visit. Is there an Asian Broich out there? A top player looking to do something different as a swan song? Yasuhito Endo? Come see the Koalas Yasu!