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Kruse urges Socceroos to seize the day

As he prepares for his third Asian Cup, Socceroos veteran Robbie Kruse is reminding his younger teammates not to take the tournament for granted.

Kruse urges Socceroos to seize the day

As he prepares for his third Asian Cup, Socceroos veteran Robbie Kruse is reminding his younger teammates not to take the tournament for granted.

ROBBIE KRUSE of Australia is challenged by Mahmoud Al Mawas of Syria during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Playoff match between the Australian Socceroos and Syria at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
ROBBIE KRUSE of Australia is challenged by Mahmoud Al Mawas of Syria during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Playoff match between the Australian Socceroos and Syria at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Picture:Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

On the eve of what will be his third Asian Cup, Robbie Kruse has advised his younger Socceroos teammates to make the most of the experience.

The tournament kicks off on Saturday when host nation United Arab Emirates face Bahrain in Abu Dhabi before Australia's first game against Jordan in Al Ain on Sunday.


While Australia's squad features eight players involved in the 2015 tournament success, the remainder of Graham Arnold's 23-man selection will be appearing in the continental championship for the first time.

"They fly by and they don't come around very often," Kruse told AAP.

"The chance doesn't come around a lot to win tournaments. This is a great chance for the team to go back-to-back.

"We'll be drumming that into all the younger boys to try and grasp this opportunity, obviously you don't know when it comes around again."

Australia head into their title defence with key midfielder Aaron Mooy, young gun Daniel Arzani and Scottish-born winger Martin Boyle all ruled out through injury.

Those absences as well as the Socceroos status as reigning champions will be challenges to overcome if there is to be another Asian Cup success, Kruse believes.

"Obviously the last tournament was at home and a lot of things went our way," the 30-year-old said.

"We put in a great tournament with some great performances but obviously now we'll have a bit more of a target on our back, going into the tournament knowing you're the defending champions.

"We're in a new era. We'll start on the front foot and I'm positive, I know we'll have a really good tournament."

As for his own position the rise of young attacking talent such as Awer Mabil and Chris Ikonomidis has some speculating on Kruse's starting position in the Socceroos.

The German-based winger however feels that's no different to any other time he's been with the national team.

"The good thing is we've got a great pool of players here now and there's a great depth within the national team," he said.

"It puts Australia in good stead. One person finishes up, there's always someone there ready to pounce and come in."

AAP


AAP




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