SWINDON TOWN: Socceroos coach explains Luongo call-up

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Swindon Town midfielder Massimo Luongo Swindon Town midfielder Massimo Luongo

AUSTRALIA coach Ange Postecoglou wants Massimo Luongo to get a taste of international football after handing the Swindon Town midfielder the opportunity to stake a late claim for this summer’s World Cup.

Luongo was called up by Postecoglou for Australia’s friendly clash with Ecuador at The New Den in London next Wednesday (March 5).

The 21 year old was rested by Swindon Town boss Mark Cooper for Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Crawley at the County Ground but, after two friendlies for the U20s side and previous training camps with the senior team, has been handed his opportunity on the world stage.

Postecoglou told footballaustralia.com.au: “I watched Massimo play for Swindon, again a young player with promise who hasn’t been around the national team before.

“I guess more for him is to get him around the national team and see how he fits into our culture.

“Certainly he’s a talented young player doing the hard yards in league one, a difficult league, but he’s playing regularly so I wanted to get a good look at him.”

He added: “The Ecuador match gives this group of players an opportunity to stake a claim for the World Cup.

“They have been rewarded for playing consistent and strong football and shows that age and limited international experience are not barriers to opportunity.

“The squad to face Ecuador represents the first steps in what I believe is the building of the next golden generation for Australian football acknowledging there is a need to balance experimentation and experience to achieve this.''

Luongo joined Swindon permanently last August after an initial loan spell in Wiltshire.

MORE SWINDON TOWN NEWS & REACTION AT GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK/SPORT NOW

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