Cornthwaite clings to World Cup dream

Robbie Cornthwaite has barely had a look-in under Ange Postecoglou but he insists he’ll be doing everything he can until the very last minute to be part of the Socceroos’ 2014 World Cup squad.

The 28-year-old central defender emerged under Holger Osieck, winning eight caps and scoring three goals from November 2012 to July 2013, including a winner on a memorable debut against Korea, where he plays his club football with Chunnam Dragons.

However, Cornthwaite hasn’t been named in one of Postecoglou’s squads since his appointment as Australia coach.

The ex-Adelaide United man has just commenced the 2014 K-League season, and was an 83rd minute substitute in Chunnam’s second game of the campaign on Sunday, following a hamstring cork late in pre-season.

Speaking to FourFourTwo, Cornthwaite said despite being overlooked by Postecoglou, he retained hope of being part of the squad in Brazil, or at least the Asian Cup in Australia six months later.

“The World Cup is a few months away and the clock is ticking and people are running out of time,” Cornthwaite said.

“But until that squad is named in May, I’ll be doing everything I can to get my name in there. The only way to do that is to start playing here regularly and playing well.

“The K-League is a really competitive league, a high standard, so if I’m playing regularly that’ll help. It’s always encouraging to see Wilko (Korea-based Alex Wilkinson) or Ryan McGowan, in China, get selected to know the selectors are watching.

“Fingers crossed but even if things don’t work out for the World Cup, I’ve still got my eye on the Asian Cup. I’m only 28 so I still feel like I’ve got something to offer the Australia set-up if I get the chance.”

Cornthwaite said he had enjoyed his best-ever pre-season, avoiding injury and applying himself well, until his ill-timed cork before his club’s season opener a fortnight ago.

England-born Cornthwaite, who has been in Korea for three seasons, has entered into the final year of his contract with Chunnam.

He said he was excited by the opportunities which lie ahead, including a potential return to the A-League or a move elsewhere in Asia.

“I’m excited, because whether I stay or go is yet to be decided,” he said. “I’ve never been a free agent before. It’s an exciting time.

“I might be looking for a new challenge. I’d love to stay in Korea or in Asia, I feel like I’ve done really well here and I’d like to stay here a bit longer.

“At the same time, the A-League is going really well, so if I did receive any offers to come back to the A-League that’d be something I’d seriously consider.”

Cornthwaite hinted he is seriously considering a return home, when discussing his efforts to grasp reading and writing the Korean language.

The big defender recently started taking formal Korean lessons after having already learnt to speak the language during his three years with Chunnam, and said he’d made a point to learn it properly before he leaves the country.

“At the start of the year, I thought it’s my last year and if I go home, I want to be able to go home and say I learnt the language,” he said.

“So I started taking a few lessons to improve my Korean a bit and give me something away from football. I’ve got a grasp on the language a little bit which makes life easier.”



I think his football is along the same lines of thinking "I think I can offer something to the team" that sounds just like Holger talk. We want people who want to be the best in the world, no longer do we want Holger type players who just want to make up the numbers and have a happy trip enjoy going to Brazil and losing thinking that's ok.
If you are going to Brazil you should be determined that you won't accept anything less than beating Spain, Holland and Chile and toping the group. That should be in your mind that nothing less is acceptable, or you shouldn't be in the team.
This is the new look Socceroos under Ange. Become a star before you reach 22 or forget about playing for the Socceroos, we are here to become the best in the world.