Bite-sized news for you to chew over - Zwaanswijk identifies Kennedy threat, Allsopp wants Victory chance and the Young Socceroos discover their fate
Central Coast defender Patrick Zwaanswijk is confident his side can nullify Australia international Josh Kennedy when the two sides meet in the Asian Champions League on Tuesday. The final matchday of the group stage sees the Mariners, who sit third in the group, travel to Japan to face second-placed Nagoya Grampus. A win will seal Central Coast's berth in the next stage of the competition. But if they draw, they will be forced to rely on Chinese side Tianjin Teda to thump current group leaders Seongham Ilhwa of South Korea. With that scenario unlikely, Graham Arnold's men will have it all to do in Nagoya - and stopping Kennedy will be the first challenge. "I've seen the last five or six games of him with the National Team while I've been in Australia," Zwaanswijk said. "He's a big guy, a tall guy so he's always dangerous inside the box. [But] we know he doesn't have a lot of pace so he's not going to beat us in that. The only thing where he can beat us is in the 18-yard box, and that's where we have to keep him away from. If we play as well here [as we did in the home game] then I think we can beat them."
All Danny Allsopp wants under new Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecogloyu is a chance. The veteran striker was on the fringes of the first XI for much of the 2011-12 campaign, and has been repeatedly linked with an exit despite being contracted for next season. The 33-year-old is eyeing a fresh start under Postecoglou, and is pleading for an opportunity. "All I want is a fair crack. With Ange coming in, I'll give everything I can to have a good year this year, as I always do, and take it from there," Allsopp told AAP. "When you get left completely out of the squad for a match, it doesn't really look good for you. It was one frustration after another [last season]. I thought I did pretty well for Mehmet [Durakovic, former coach] in the  Asian Champions League and then it seemed like every chance they could leave me out, it happened. It's hard to play your best like that. Hopefully this season it's different."
The Young Socceroos have been drawn in Group D with Saudi Arabia, Syria and Qatar for the AFC U-19 Championship 2012, held in the United Arab Emirates in November. With the semi-finalists of the tournament to qualify for the 2013 Under-20 World Cup, there is plenty at stake for Australia. The Young Socceroos were seeded in Pot 1 as the third-ranked team in the competition, alongside hosts UAE, North Korea and South Korea, due to the results from the 2010 equivalent. "It's definitely a tough draw, but then again there are no easy games in international football at this level," coach Paul Okon said. "We'll have to be at our best to get through to the knock-out stage and with the players that we have at our disposal this is an achievable goal. Our first training camp together will be early next month and with the draw now known we can all focus on the task at hand."