CITYROOS: Familiar faces dominate national team squads

Over the last week we’ve seen national team squads named for the Socceroos, Young Socceroos (U19) and Joeys (U17) – all of which following a very similar theme.

Of the 85 total players named in these squads, over a quarter are Melbourne City players, or have been through the doors of the club at some stage of their career.

In recent years, City’s Academy has gone from strength to strength and now has to be right at the top of the list for young footballers wanting to go to the next level.


Current: Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren, Marco Tilio.

As has been the case for the last couple of international windows, our star attacking trio have once again been named in the Socceroos squad.

On track to go to his third World Cup, Leckie’s experience is set to be a valuable asset for the Socceroos as preparations heat up.

Maclaren, the Socceroos top goalscorer in qualification, will be looking to secure his place in the squad with a strong window and beginning to the A-League Men season, while Tilio too will be eyeing an appearance on the biggest stage in football.

While not involved in this squad, we’ve also of course seen Andrew Nabbout and Curtis Good in national team colours in recent times.

Past: Nathaniel Atkinson, Aziz Behich, Harrison Delbridge, Denis Genreau, Riley McGree, Connor Metcalfe, Aaron Mooy, Andrew Redmayne.

It’s hard not to mention the two we’ve most recently seen in City colours first. Both members of City’s Academy from their early teenage years, Atkinson and Metcalfe provided plenty of great memories to City fans and were able to receive big European moves off the back of a number of consistent seasons.

Genreau of course is also a City Academy product, while Aziz Behich and Aaron Mooy’s strong form at the club springboarded their own overseas moves.

Delbridge, who made 66 appearances for City, received his first Socceroos call-up, while McGree (30 City appearances) and Andrew Redmayne (48 Heart/City appearances) are once again involved.

Young Socceroos

Current: Raphael Borges Rodrigues, James Nieuwenhuizen.

While it’s a little early to call them household names, Raphael and Nieuwenhuizen look set to give City fans plenty to cheer about in the years to come.

We’ve already gotten a taste of what Raphael can do, the now 19-year-old having already made 13 appearances for our senior squad. He’s already scored twice too, including in the AFC Champions League where he also assisted.

Nieuwenhuizen is a name that some may not be as familiar with, but the 18-year-old goalkeeper is one of the most highly rated in his age group and has a bright future ahead of him.

Past: Rhys Bozinovski, Yaya Dukuly, Bernardo Oliveira, Dylan Scicluna.

The downside of having so many talents coming through an academy is unfortunately, there’s not room for every single one of them stay the course and become established first team players. That being said, the Academy is proud to contribute and facilitate players in reaching the highest level, even if this can’t always be at our club.

Midfielders Bozinovski and Scicluna along with wingers Dukuly and Bernardo, all fall into this category, having spent time with City’s Academy in key years throughout their development but now plying their trade at other clubs.


Current: Peter Antoniou, Ben Dunbar, Ryan Kalms, Marc Petheriotis, Michael Vonja.

U18 Head Coach Stuart McDonald has worked wonders with his group this season, with City dominating the Joeys squad.

Kalms and Antoniou are a pair of exciting young defenders with bright futures ahead of them. Vonja has had a terrific NPL season involved at both U18 and U21 level, particularly impressing with his sharp reflex saves. Dunbar hit double digits in goals and assists this season and has been rewarded with another Joeys callup after being the vice-captain last camp, while Petheriotis – capable of playing as a winger or striker – was City’s U18 topscorer in his first year in the Academy.

Past: Campbell Dovison.

The first step to becoming part of City’s Academy is the Melbourne City Football School. Click here to find out more about all the highly successful programs ran at four locations across Melbourne!