The Central Coast Mariners will be without two key squad members for their next two Hyundai A-League fixtures. Storm Roux will depart on international duty with the New Zealand All Whites and Goalkeeping Coach/Video Analyst John Crawley has received a well-deserved call up to the Olyroos.
Both Roux and Crawley went into their respective camps today and will return in time for the Mariners' next and last home fixture against Western Sydney Wanderers on April 11, consequently missing two away legs to Melbourne Victory (Friday 27 March, AAMI Park) and Brisbane Roar (Thursday 2 April, Suncorp Stadium).
Roux will travel with the ‘All Whites’ squad who will face off against 2015 AFC Asian Cup finalists Korea Republic on Tuesday 31 March, 8pm (Tuesday 31 March, 10pm AEDT time) at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, Seoul.
Crawley is heading to Chinese Tapei with the Australian Under 23s squad who are a part of Group F in the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers that will see the green and gold take on Hong Kong (27 March), Chinese Taipei (29 March) and Myanmar (31 March) in Kaohsiung City. The AFC U-23 Championship, which will be played in Qatar in 2016 also doubles as the qualification tournament for the 2016 Olympic Games. The top three ranked teams from the AFC U-23 Championship qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games Football Tournament.
Roux has the 2018 FIFA World Cup in his sights and the upcoming match against Korea Republic will serve as an initial preparation step towards the tournament's qualification stages.
“The young players coming through are going to be in their prime by the time the World Cup comes around, I definitely want to be a part of it. All the boys are excited after seeing New Zealand qualify for the 2010 World Cup and we all want to be a part of the next group that can do that,” Roux said.
Crawley has been an incredible clubman for the Central Coast Mariners and an integral part of the coaching staff for 10 years and now has the chance to play a role in the next generation of goalkeepers coming through Australia’s ranks. An experienced hand in developing goalkeeping talent, Crawley knows exactly what he’s looking for.
“I'd like to see a goalkeeper who's not really defensive minded. I'd like a goalkeeper ideally to be attacking minded, I know Ange Postecoglou would like that in his senior side and also filtered through to the Olyroos, youth teams, Under-20, Under-17's to develop that same sort of goalkeeper,” Crawley said.
The Central Coast Mariners wish Roux & Crawley all the best in their international endeavours and look forward to welcoming them back after the Easter long weekend.