The Moot Point

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Joe Russo

Get well, Dylan!

Football is certainly put into perspective when you read something like this which came through this week.

“Football Federation Australia and West Ham United can confirm striker Dylan Tombides is being treated for testicular cancer.

“The 17-year-old was diagnosed while away on international duty last month with Australia at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.

“Dylan immediately returned to England and the club’s medical staff arranged for a further assessment by doctors.

“He has already started his first course of chemotherapy at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, which is the standard treatment for his condition. He has since returned home to rest and will continue further treatment in the coming weeks.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with young Dylan at this difficult time. And I’m sure the whole football community would be thinking of him in the months ahead.

Missing a World Cup

A World Cup, at any level, is something that I would imagine remains with you forever.

However, to miss out on participating in such a prestigious event must be truly heartbreaking especially when the cause of the withdrawal is an injury.

Goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas has been withdrawn from the Young Socceroos squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.

Thomas suffered a thigh injury and was replaced by Scottish-based goalkeeper Nick Feely because the prognosis was that the injury would take a few weeks to get over.

“It’s frustrating to pick up an injury like this at this time, but that’s football,” said Thomas.

“I’m disappointed, but I understand the decision that’s been made and having been involved with the squad so far has given me the motivation to get back as soon as I can.”

It’s also great to see that Lawrence Thomas can at least try to make the best of his missed opportunity by using it as motivation to get back into the squad. However, for Nick Feely, it is undoubtedly the opportunity of a lifetime to get such a lucky break.

The Young Socceroos will play their first match of the tournament against Ecuador on Sunday. They then face Costa Rica on Wednesday and Spain on Saturday week.

All matches involving the Young Socceroos, and the semi-finals and final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia, will be covered by SBS who, once again, have provided a magnificent service.

SBS, as a network, could easily have walked away from the code when the FFA sold the rights to the A-League and Socceroos exclusively to pay television a few years ago.

Magnificent Matildas

The mighty Matildas have made the top 10 of the latest FIFA Women’s World Rankings following their recent performance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.

They have jumped two places, from equal 11th (with Italy) to 9th, and are now at their highest ever ranking.

Tom Sermanni’s young team is an impressive outfit that will mature into an extraordinary team in years to come.

World rankings though, be they in the men’s game or the women’s game, don’t mean much per se. They are merely a paper index generated by a series of calculations that takes into account past performance.

The real ranking comes on the field and in future performances. The Matildas did well, but we certainly cannot sit back on our laurels with a quarter-final appearance and think that we have achieved our Nirvana.

All aboard to London

We are now officially one year out from the 2012 London Olympic Games and our Olyroos begin their campaign in September in China.

Australia will be involved in a six-team, 11 day, round robin tournament with the top two teams progressing to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Best wishes to Aurelio Vidmar and the whole squad as Australia has a proud football history in Olympic Games football.

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