Former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou believes Australia are behind in developing youth players and will struggle to be competitive in the Asian region.
The 52-year-old is currently managing J-League side Yokohoma F. Marinos after leaving the green-and-gold national team role in the wake of qualifying the team for the World Cup.
Postecoglou, who won the Asian Cup with the Socceroos in 2015, says there is a serious gap between the Australian under age teams and other youth sides around the world.
“We seem to be stuck in this way of thinking that under age national teams are still an expense, rather than an investment,” Postecoglou said to Optus Sport.
“It’s going to cost us developing good players and us being competitive in this region.”
Postecoglou, who managed Australian youth teams from 2000-2005, is adamant the player development gap between Asian nations and Down Under is only going to widen.
“Eight of [Yokohoma’s] players are away on international duty, from under 18’s, under 19’s, under 20’s, under 21’s, every international break,” he said.
“We’ve got all the boys who are in [Japanese] national teams away and getting experience.
“It’s not just the volume of players but the experiences they’re giving their players and then when I sort of correlate that to what happens in Australia.
Ange Postecoglou may have traded a #WorldCup for a return to club football, but the mission to implement change hasn't diminished since moving to Yokohama.#OptusSport caught up with the former @Socceroos boss in Japan. pic.twitter.com/gLGdGXsOgs— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) April 17, 2018
“When Pete Cklamovski (Yokohoma assistant coach) was managing the [Joeys], he probably wouldn’t have had another get together with the players until the qualifiers.
“I just think that’s a gap that’s going to get bigger and bigger.”
Postecoglou’s youth development worries come amidst domestic troubles with his Yokohoma side sitting in the J League relegation zone.
With 8 points from as many games, Yokohoma will be looking to win Saturday’s crucial home game against fellow relegation rivals Shonan Bellmare.