Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Croatia looking for more talent in Australia

It happens before every World Cup and it is always fun to witness. Countries look around to see what talent they can find in other nations that they can some how trace back to their own home. It becomes even funnier when the two countries involved are in the same World Cup group. The US experienced this a little while ago with Ghana and Freddy Adu.

However, the most recent touch of this comes from Croatia who seem to have a thing for Australians. There are already three players on the Croatian team who were born in Australia. They are Joey Didulica, Anthony Seric and Joe Simuni. Now they are trying to add a fourth by grabbing Matthew Spiranovic (pictured).

The 17-year old Spiranovic was a defender a while back but now makes his trade as a striker. He has played for Australia's U-20, but really does not have much of a shot at making the national team this year.

Croatia had some problems with "small" teams during qualifying (Malta), but they are not in a huge need for strikers. I'm sure they would be happy with another striker from which to pick, but I don't see Spiranovic going for it.

The other players all went back to their roots before Australia made it to the big show. Now that they are in and the country is going soccer crazy, I think there is less of a chance of more talent defecting. Also, with Australia moving to Asia, it will be a lot easier for them to make it to future cups.

By the way, the Australian squad has eight players of Croatian heritage in its squad, including captain Mark Viduka and midfielder Josip Skoko, who have had spells with Croatia's leading clubs. No matter what happens with Spiranovic, the match between these two sides is going to be intense.


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