Jets Advisory Board Chariman Ray Baartz says he was honoured to have been selected in the Greatest Ever Australian Team.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets Advisory Board Chariman Ray Baartz says he was honoured to have been selected in the Greatest Ever Australian Team at a function in Sydney last night.
Baartz, who represented the Socceroos on 48 occasions, said the accolade came as a big surprise.
“We were down for the dinner and we knew the team was being selected, but I didn-t really hold much hope because I thought it would be mainly the younger generation that would be voting,” he said.
“They had something like 15,000 votes so to be selected was a big thrill.
“To be remembered after so long and to be in that sort of company was very exciting.”
More than 15,000 public votes were cast during the process, while a panel of current and former players, administrators and commentators also helped decide the winner.
“It was nice to have people that I had played with come up and say they had voted for me as well,” Baartz said.
“To be recognised by former teammates as well as the general public was very satisfying.”
Baartz was selected in the team as part of a forward line that also featured Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka.
He said it would have been very exciting to have the opportunity to play alongside the former Leeds United stars.
“I think we would have done quite well, I-m sure I would have liked that very much,” he said.
Former Newcastle Jets W-League player and the most-capped male or female Australian footballer of all time, Cheryl Sailsbury was named as Australia-s Greatest Ever Female Player.
“Cheryl was an absolute certainty for that accolade,” Baartz said.
“Cheryl was such a fantastic player for the Matildas for such a long time and that was an honour and reward that she certainly deserved.”
Kewell was named as the Greatest Ever Australian Footballer. Funds raised by the event were to benefit the Johnny Warren Football Foundation.
Greatest ever Australian team (4-3-3): Mark Schwarzer (gk), Lucas Neill, Joe Marston, Craig Moore, Alan Davidson, Johnny Warren, Ned Zelic, Tim Cahill, Ray Baartz, Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka.