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Where are all the great players? Australia paying price for ignoring development | John Davidson

In the fourth part of Guardian Australia’s post-season series, John Davidson finds that with the passing of the ‘golden generation’ Australian football’s production line is struggling to keep pace with the success of the past

Football is, according to the old commentator’s cliché, a game of two halves. Considering the state of football in Australia at the moment, this seems particularly apt: on the one hand, the game appears to be flying – the Socceroos are reigning Asian champions, more people are playing the sport than ever before at grassroots level and the A-League’s future is assured thanks to a new TV deal – but scratch beneath the surface, and it’s clear Football Federation Australia faces myriad problems.

One of those, a deep issue underpinning many others, is the question of where all the great players have gone. Where will the next Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka come from? Australia’s pipeline of quality football talent has begun to dry up.

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