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Oar is less green and more gold

9 June 2013-Philip Micallef

Australia attacker Tommy Oar has done enough in his brief flirtation with international football to deserve a regular starting spot in the Socceroos team.

The Southport sensation is one of the most exciting players to emerge from our system and he has become a firm favourite with the fans ever since he made his international debut in an AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Indonesia in Brisbane in 2010.

(Game breaker... Tommy Oar on the burst for the Socceroos against Japan in Saitama. Getty)

His blistering pace and dribbling skills earned him rave reviews and instant respect.

Oar was suddenly big news and not just because his short surname was easy to fit in any headline.

The wing wizard was even dubbed the new Harry Kewell by an excited Australian media that was yearning for a superstar to rave about during the bleak years of Pim Verbeek's era.

The then Socceroos coach even warned against putting too much pressure on the whiz kid in much the same way as his successor Holger Osieck would urge caution in the treatment of attacking midfielder Tom Rogic.

While Verbeek was perfectly right in being cautious about the then 18-year-old Oar, the Queenslander who plays his club football for FC Utrecht in the Netherlands is now a more mature footballer who has learned to pick his moments to leave his mark on a game.

We will never know for sure if his superb strike that earned Australia a point in its crucial clash with Japan in Saitama last week in his eighth game for his country was a fluke or not.

What is most important, however, is that Oar once again came up with the goods when it mattered most.

It was Oar's in-swinging cross that provided striker Archie Thompson with his late winning goal against Iraq in this 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.

Socceroos star Paul Okon, who knew a thing or two about passing, once said that whenever the team was struggling in a match the players would give the ball to Kewell because they knew he would get them out of any sticky situation.

The same could apply to Oar.

You don't muck about with this kind of player: you just pick him.

Oar should start in every game regardless of Australia's formation or opposition because of his ability to be a constant threat and for reviving the dying art of dribbling in a team that is not renowned for its flair.

Oar needs to know that he is a regular and won't be dropped as soon as he makes a mistake.

This would encourage him to chance his arm and we all know what can happen when he is given the freedom to cause his special brand of mayhem.

The Jordanians will be well aware of the danger Tim Cahill will pose in Melbourne on Tuesday but the chances are that they also will be making special arrangements to counter Oar's wing play.

They will see him as the man who can unlock a match with one of those moments that puts special players above the rest.

Oar certainly has that ability and Osieck would be mad not to pick him this week and in every other match.

Oar is very much a pleasant reality of Australian football.

He is still learning his trade and he may never reach Kewell's heights.

However he has become such a dangerous player that he is seen as the face of tomorrow's Socceroos.

Socceroos jersey over the years

Socceroos jersey over the years

FFA unveiled the strip the Socceroos will play in at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, so TWG thinks it's a perfect time to take a look at the history of the green and gold jersey over the years.


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