Australia coach praises ‘top quality’ footballers in Chinese Super League

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Canberra, May 5 (IANS) Australian footballers playing in the Chinese Super League (CSL) are matching up on “top quality” opposition and are constantly being pushed to get better, national team head coach Ange Postecoglou said on Thursday.

Back from a brief scouting trip to watch the Australians playing in the CSL, the Socceroos coach said the quality of opposition his players were facing weekly was a testament to the growth of the Chinese league, and was assisting his wards in taking the next step to push for national selection, reports Xinhua.

“The beauty of (the CSL) for our players is that individually they’re matching up with some very good players,” Postecoglou said.

“The foreigners there from all over the globe are absolutely top quality, so our guys are getting tested individually which is great.”

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Postecoglou is a former coach of the Australian A-League side Melbourne Victory and said he still has a soft spot for the overall quality of football seen in Australia, but admitted China’s national league was on the up.

“China has still got a way to go in terms of its development,” Postecoglou said.

“But in the overall intensity and tempo, I think the A-League is probably a little bit ahead of it at the moment, just in terms of the general level of the game.”

Postecoglou was in China overseeing the progress of his stars ahead of three friendlies over the next month.

Australia face England in Sunderland at the end of this month before returning to Australia for two back-to-back matches against Greece in Melbourne and Sydney.

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