Archie Thompson: The Socceroos were stiffed!

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Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk culled the preliminary player squad from 32 to 26 players and surprisingly left out in form striker Jamie Maclaren, defender Bailey Wright and left back Alex Gersbach.

The Australian squad will take part in a training camp in Turkey, followed by a friendly against the Czech Republic in Austria before van Marwijk’s again culls the squad down to 23 on June 3.

Thompson was a non-playing member of the Socceroos’ 2006 World Cup squad and missed both the 2010 and 2014 tournaments through injury and non-selection.

He said some players are entitled to feel hard done by.

“There were a few stiff decisions when it came to players who were left out of the squad,” he said speaking to FourFourTwo at the Cahiltex promotion.

“When you look at the likes of Alex Gersbach, he is definitely one that has a bright future for the Socceroos and I thought he would have definitely been there.

“You look at Bailey Wright, he’s been part of the whole campaign and that was similar to my non-selection in Brazil and Jamie Maclaren as well, he just scored a hat-trick.

“There’s a few players that have been involved throughout the whole campaign and not there, that’s always going to be tough to take and that’s the stiff part I’m talking about.”

Thompson said he was dismayed at the three-stage selection process that started with 32 and will end with 23 and feels cutting even more players after a two-week training camp in Turkey is harsh.

“There are three players that are going to have to be dropped from this squad and for the life of me I don’t understand that,” he said.

“I just find it a bit stiff that you’re going to take 26 players to a camp and then suddenly another three people are going to drop out, why put another three with the hope of making the Socceroos?

“I reckon that would hurt just as much as being left out in this recent stage. Just take the 23 and work on that.

“That just shows van Marwijk doesn’t have an idea of his team still, but for me I just think that is silly.“

FFA CEO David Gallop told FourFourTwo that the three stage selection process was van Marwijk’s jurisdiction.

“It’s always disappointing for players who are initially named and then left out,” he said.

“But that’s a matter really for Bert, he’s an experienced World Cup coach, he’s been to a World Cup final, so I’ll leave that stuff in his hands.”

After missing out on the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, Thompson said it hurt so much he couldn’t bring himself to watch either tournament.

“Because as a player there is no greater pinnacle than representing your country at a World Cup,” he said.

“That’s as big as you can dream of. When it’s taken away from you, you’ve got to feel a little bit upset and for these boys it’s going to hurt for a while but there are plenty more World Cups.”



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