Jets foundation players earn Socceroos call-up
Two Newcastle Jets foundation players have been selected in Pim Verbeek’s 21-man Socceroos squad which was named in Sydney earlier today. The experienced Matt Thompson and exciting winger Tarek Elrich will join the squad that will take on Indonesia in Jakarta in an AFC Asian Cup 2011 qualifier next Wednesday, 28 January.
Two Newcastle Jets foundation players have been selected in Pim Verbeek-s 21-man Socceroos squad which was named in Sydney earlier today. The experienced Matt Thompson and exciting winger Tarek Elrich will join the squad that will take on Indonesia in Jakarta in an AFC Asian Cup 2011 qualifier next Wednesday, 28 January.
The pair featured in the Jets- 2-1 victory over Perth Glory at EnergyAustralia Stadium yesterday, with Thompson wearing the captain-s armband for the first time in his 91 Hyundai A-League appearances for the club.
Thompson, 26, enters the Socceroos squad with the most Hyundai A-League appearances of any player since the competition-s inception in 2005. Able to cover a plethora of positions from left-back to attacking midfield, Thompson was a part of Socceroos preliminary squads in 2008 and will be hoping to get his name on the final team sheet next week.
Elrich had a watershed season in 2007/08 as part of the Jets- championship winning squad, and has gone from strength-to-strength since that time, recently making his 50th appearance in the Hyundai A-League. Predominately played as a right-back, Elrich also has experience further up the pitch and has contributed some memorable goals to the Jets- cause in recent times, including the winner in last season-s dramatic 3-2 extra-time victory in the Preliminary Final against Queensland Roar.
Newcastle-s Head Coach, Gary van Egmond, was this afternoon delighted with the selection of two of his mainstays.
“I-m very pleased for both of them, it-s always good when players from your club get recognition at a national team level, and this is definitely a good feather in their caps,” he said.
“They have both re-invented themselves to a degree in their time at the club, with ‘Thomo- he started further forward and has done a job for us at left-back, and Tarek has done something similar at right-back. So it-s a sign of their versatility which is a strong asset in both of them.”
“I know how hard they have both worked and it-s a great reward for persistence and work ethic,” van Egmond added.
Australia-s match against Indonesia kicks off at 11:30pm (AEDT) next Wednesday. All Socceroos matches are broadcast live and exclusive on FOX Sports.