Kasey Wehrman backs Ange appointment

FORMER Socceroo Kasey Wehrman has backed the appointment of Ange Postecoglou as the new Australia coach and is tipping him to be a success with the national team.

“The appointment of Ange is great,” he said. “I think the way he’s perceived in the media and the way he talks and the way puts his views across, he’s got to one be on the right side.

"I can’t see him not being a success because he has his way and he won’t take any liberties.”

Wehrman, who made 12 appearances for the Socceroos from 1998 to 2006, played against Postecoglou-coached sides in both the A-League and the NSL.

“Ange won’t be putting people in just for the sake of it of putting them in, because they have a name or they don’t have a name,” Wehrman said.

“If they deserve to play, if they’ve done the job and they’re honest with themselves and honest with Ange then they’ll get their chance.

"But if he feels that they’re not up to it, and it’s time to finish up, I’m pretty sure he knows the right way to talk to them to let them know: ‘You know what, it might be time up as well’.

"They go on the right terms as well and not just thrown out the door because I don’t think any of them deserve that at all. Then we can talk the other way, and go: 'Well, are these young ones coming through enough as well?’”

Wehrman retired from playing in 2012 after two seasons with the Newcastle Jets and is now head coach at Western Pride and a member of the Brisbane Roar coaching staff.

The 36-year old midfielder, who spent the bulk of his career playing in Norway, believes Postecoglou will need to strike a balance in the regeneration of the Socceroos.

“It’s been difficult, the results haven’t looked good and you can look at it from one way where Holger’s going: ‘I want to play the best team, to see where we are at’,” he said.

“But I suppose he wasn’t expecting to get thumped 6-0 and 6-0. It’s pulled back a few Band-Aids that were starting to open when it comes to where our future lies.

"It opened up a few wounds like ‘what are we going to do in the future if this and this player doesn’t play, and this one and this one are not up to their game’, talking about some of the their older generation players.

“I’ve played with a lot of them and I’m the first one to stick up for them, but at the same time we’ve got to understand that, and some of those boys are starting to understand as well, that there’s a future behind that.

"And we’ve got to bring those players through because we can’t just leave it idley by. We’ve done that with our cricket team and we’re paying the price for it. We probably didn’t blood enough when we did, we had a golden generation there and we had a golden generation of footballers as well.

“I think it’s probably time we started blooding a few more and giving them more of a chance, but in saying that, there are a few of the older players from the golden generation that I feel athletically they’re still up with it and they can cut it at the top level.

"You’ve just got to find that balance.”

However, Wehrman is adamant there are good signs ahead for Australian football with the hiring of Postecoglou.

“I think he’s going to get a free hit at the stumps so to speak. He gets the World Cup and he gets the Asian Cup as well so he’s got time to build,” he said.

“I’m glad there’s an Australian in there now as well. I think the guys that came before did a great job but I think it was time for an Australian to take over and I think Ange was probably a couple of percentages, just the right person, with Arnie and Poppa close behind.”

Wehrman, who also represented the Joeys and Young Socceroos, feels that Australia can be competitive at next year’s World Cup.

“Has it been a perfect lead up to it? Of course not. You don’t want to get beat 6-0 and 6-0 and get embarrassed like that. But it’s a nice big wake-up call as well before the World Cup starts,” he said.

“If anyone can get in there and turn things around for a positive attitude, he’s done it with Brisbane, and he’s already turned Victory around into a real team to be reckoned with this year.

"He’s just got the right ingredients for the job and I can’t see us not being competitive whatever group we can get in.”

 

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