Mile Jedinak steps into top job with Socceroos
WITH Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou, what you see is what you get.
The former Roar mentor and winner of two A-League titles was not afraid to make the tough decisions by culling several experienced players from his World Cup squad to go to Brazil, including former skipper Lucas Neill.
He backed that decision up yesterday by naming Mile Jedinak the Socceroos' fourth World Cup captain.
Postecoglou worked alongside Jedinak during his time at the helm of the Australian under-20s, and he could always see leadership potential in the midfielder.
"From back then he was a very determined guy," Postecoglou said.
"With Mile what you see is what you get. He's always been a very determined footballer, he's fought hard his whole career and he leads from the front and that inspires people around him."
In the heat of battle in Australia's Group of Death - against Chile, the Netherlands and Spain - at the tournament starting June 12, Postecoglou said those leadership qualities will prove to be highly beneficial.
"If your captain and the other people around him are putting their hands up, the other guys are likely to step forward as well," Postecoglou said.
Postecoglou was extremely impressed by Jedinak's season just gone in Eng-land. He captained all 38 of newly-promoted Crystal Palace's games in the Premier League.
"In my mind he's probably been one of Australia's top athletes over the past 12 months. He's led a team in the Premier League that was written off," Postecoglou said.
"(Past Australian World Cup captains) Peter Wilson, Mark Viduka and Lucas Neill are absolutely names entrenched in Australian sport and I think Mile sits right alongside them."
Jedinak said captaining his country shaped as the biggest honour of his career.
While aware of the challenge ahead he said the bond between the players would make his job easier.
"Team unity has been with us from well before I was here," Jedinak said.
"Because we have something like that already in a team like ours, it makes the challenge one you try and embrace."
Two-time World Cup players Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano were named as the vice-captains.
Cahill said despite the difficulty of being in Group B, the Socceroos are determined to give a good account.
WHO IS HE?
Name: Michael John 'Mile' Jedinak
Socceroos caps: 43
Captaincy experience: Captained most of the junior teams he played for, from under-13 to under-18 level, before skippering Crystal Palace.