Bite-sized news for you to chew over - McGowan, Davidson excited by Socceroos chances, Dilevski talks the talk and more
He could quite easily be turning out in the navy of Scotland rather than the gold of Australia, but Ryan McGowan is eagerly anticipating his first involvement in the senior Socceroos set-up. The Hearts central defender qualifies for both nations, who meet in an international friendly on Wednesday in Edinburgh. But it was Socceroos coach Holger Osieck who won the race for McGowan, who played all his youth international football for Australia - the country of his birth - and is eager at the chance to make his full debut. "I am delighted with the call-up and really looking forward to the game," McGowan told the Scottish Premier League club's website. "Hopefully we will get a good result on Sunday and then I can concentrate on the game on Wednesday. I know [Hearts teammate] Andy Webster is in the Scotland squad and it would be good to line up against him. He's been a good influence on me."
Former Socceroo Alan Davidson believes the versatility of son Jason will help him as he forges his own international career. The 21-year-old younger Davidson has been called up for the full Australia squad for the first time to potentially debut against Scotland next Wednesday, having made an impact at Eredivisie outfit Heracles after his move from Portuguese Primeira Division club Pacos de Ferreira midway through the 2011-12 season. "For Heracles, he's played right across the back four at various times and also as a holding midfielder," father Alan told The World Game. "Versatility isn't a problem for him. He hasn't played left-back for a while but is exited by the chance to operate there for his country. His strength is going forward. He has a good first touch and is technically stronger than I was… He just can't wait to get into camp and play. He's told me he's feeling no nerves."
Spase Dilevski has not minced words early in his Melbourne Victory career, declaring his new club will win the 2011-12 A-League title. With dual championship-winning coach Ange Postecoglou at the helm and a clutch of new signings on board, Dilevski is expecting a marked improvement from the 2010-11 campaign in which Victory missed finals. "I think we'll win it," Dilevski told Four Four Two Australia. "We have a goal this season to win the league and the Grand Final and we really believe that. "It was a great move in the sense that Ange came here and the boys he's brought in. The boys have gelled well together and bringing in a coach like Ange, there's high expectations and we're all working towards that. Obviously Ange isn't a miracle worker, he has his philosophies and we've got to adapt to that."
Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi believes he has a sound mix of options to his strike force this season. Croatian recruit Josip Tadic - formerly of Bayern Leverkusen, Dinamo Zagreb and Arminia Bielefeld - arrived on Monday after his visa process was finalised, adding to a front line that already includes David Williams, Mate Dugandzic Dylan Macallister and Golgol Mebrahtu. ''He's very mobile, he can play anywhere along the front three, can hold up the ball, and technically he's very good. We have got five strikers now, all of whom are different and he's going to be a key player for us,'' Aloisi told The Age. ''I am very happy with [the] firepower we have got… We thought we needed something a bit different and Dylan and Josip gives us that. We should be creating enough chances for them with players like Fred and Matt Thompson in the midfield.''