‘Not a development league’: Arnie’s Olyroos verdict

Arnie ready for soaring Jets Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold
Arnie ready for soaring Jets Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold

FOOTBALL: The average age of an A-League player last season was 27.8 - the oldest it has been in 40 years of Australian football.

That's not an issue, according to Sydney FC manager Graham Arnold who has delivered a scathing rebuke of his fellow A-League managers' anger over their young stars being taken for an Olyroos campaign at the Under-23 Asian Championship in China.

"I don't understand what the fuss is about. I did hear a comment about the young players going, but I didn't know the A-League was a development league," Arnold said.

"There's been a lot of talk around the senior players because of the international windows but I don't see the A-League as a development league. It's a meaningful competition in which clubs expect to win trophies."

Arnold, who has been criticized for the lack of youth players finding their way into his Sydney FC line-ups, will not lose a single player to the Olyroos campaign.

"I was maybe the only coach who looked at the international program before the season started," Arnold said as he defended the fact that his league leaders and defending champions comprise not a single player heading off internationally.

Sydney FC boast a legion of internationally capped youth players, however the Sky Blues youngsters have been unable to dislodge a starting XI full of experienced players.

"The youngsters here are coming through," Arnold said.

"At the Mariners they were ready and I'd put a lot of work into them; [Tom] Rogic, [Mat] Ryan, [Trent] Sainsbury, [Mustafa] Amini, the list goes on. The ones I've got here you'll see in the next 12 months."

Topics:  a-league football graham arnold olyroos soccer sydney fc

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Adani court hearing goes into overtime

Fight over indigenous land agreement not over yet

How central Queensland could solve the gas crisis

Arrow Energy's Moranbah Gas Project could be the first of many CSG plants in central Queensland.

Could CSG be CQ's next boom industry?

Council mergers: Did they actually save us money?

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie confronts protesters against council amalgamation outside the shire council in Barcaldine.

A decade on from council mergers, was the pain worth it?

Local Partners