By signing Japanese youth defender Yuji Takahashi and South Korean Do Dong-Hyun, Brisbane Roar have chosen to promote foreign players over promising young Australians.
At this stage, it would be a big call to say that decision is a mistake but what we want to see more of is promotion – if good enough – of our own kids.
When you talk about imports in the Hyundai A-League, normally they’re more experienced players and this season the three big names that have come in have been fantastic. But I would rather see younger Australian players get a chance ahead of young imports.
Would I rather two foreign players coming in, in the place of two Australian players? No – but bigger picture it might be part of the grand plan for Brisbane. The club has overseas owners, we don’t know what their thought process is and they’re the ones paying the money and we can’t tell them how to run it.
We don’t know if this is a strategic move by the club’s owners or not.
I can’t imagine the best players in the Japanese or Korean U20 side are coming to Australia but the final call here might not have been made by Rado Vidosic; this decision might have been made by the club’s owners.
If you’re bringing in a young foreign player in because you’re thinking we’re going to develop him and sell him – it may well benefit the club at the expense of young Aussies, and if making money os their vision, then so be it.
They have the right to do what they want; it’s their club, they have a plan and that’s their decision. I’m certainly not totally against it but I can see there are mixed feelings from the local players and people who want to see money going into developing Australian talent.
With only one A-League club in Queensland now, it’s certainly a lot harder for kids in the state. There aren’t a lot of positions up for grabs and it’s a bit of a kick in teeth for younger players to see non-Australian players getting a place ahead of them, especially when we’re in a stage with the national team where a generational change might be coming.
We have the older players, the current Socceroos, who for me are still the best, but we need the younger brigade to put pressure on what’s there at the moment and try to shift that. You have to earn that spot, and to do that you need to sustain some real consistency over a period of time.
For any player – moving from state-to-state or country-to-country – you need to go in and be better than what’s already there. I hope that’s the way Takahashi and Hyun see it.
It’s a tough challenge for them – they’ve come to a foreign country, we’re going to be scrutinising every action they take and play they make, so there’s a lot of pressure on them.
I’m certainly open to these guys being given a fair crack, we need to see how they go throughout the season and see how they go under some pressure.
We want to see Australian players first and foremost but if we get players that light up the league, we’ve got to put our hands up and admit they’ve brought something to our league.
We want to see quality on the field. We want to see the influence Del Piero will have on his club and the league. That’s a great thing for our game. But with younger imports it is a different story. I hope they do fantastically well because that will justify the decision made by Brisbane Roar.
The views in this article are those of the author, not Football Federation Australia or the Hyundai A-League.