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De Silva on radar for World Cup

December 28, 2014 09:07:09 UK

Australia coach Ange Postecoglou says age wasn’t a factor in his decision to cut 17-year-old Daniel De Silva from his final Asian Cup squad.

The Perth Glory attacker was in the Socceroos’ initial 46-man squad, but missed out on final selection when Postecoglou unveiled his squad last week.

He’s earning his spot where he’s playing, he’s in the top team in the league and he’s making an impact.

Ange Postecoglou

As a former coach of the Australian Under-17 squad, Postecoglou knows more than most about the ability of young players to perform at the highest level.

And he says De Silva will stay in his thinking after the Asian Cup as the Socceroos turn their attentions towards the 2018 World Cup in Russia – their qualifying campaign starts in June.

De Silva knew he would be in the spotlight this season, after securing a transfer to Serie A side Roma that will see him move to Italy after he turns 18.

He has handled the hype well, says Postecoglou, who added that he was close to being named in the Asian Cup squad. Australia are 3.75 to win the Asian Cup, with South Korea 7.00 and Japan 3.25.

“He’s definitely one we’re looking at,” said the coach. “Through a four-year cycle, if he continues, he’ll definitely get an opportunity, absolutely. Why not?”

The youngster has played 12 games this season, with Friday’s 1-1 draw at Melbourne City being his seventh A-League start.

He earned his recall on the strength of his substitute’s outing in the previous game, a 4-1 win over Central Coast Mariners when he scored the final goal.

Postecoglou said age was “absolutely no factor” in his decision to cut De Silva from the squad, adding: “He’s earning his spot where he’s playing, he’s in the top team in the league and he’s making an impact.

“He had a quiet FFA Cup final, got left out, came back and scored. That shows me that he’s mature enough to handle it and he understands.”

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