English coaching blamed for Aussie failures

Former 'Socceroo' and ex-Adelaide City midfielder Craig Foster has launched a scathing attack on Australia's youth development after the country's 'Joeys' were knocked out of the FIFA Under-17 World Championships in Peru. Australia has failed to win a World Championship match since September 2001 at a youth World Cup, when it beat Croatia 4-0 in Trinidad and Tobago.

"For 30 years (the late) Johnny Warren talked about an English 'mafia' in Australian coaching," Foster said. "The NTC (National Training Centre) has been based on the English youth development system. It's a disgrace. England doesn't develop young players. I should know, I played there."

He also said taxpayer-funded development coaches were a protected species.

"A lot of these guys hide in coaching development jobs. For years we've been playing very poor football. We lack imagination and basically we are just crap. We have had a gutful of this rubbish in this country and as an ex-player it's time to have a circuit-breaker ...

"There's no more time for excuses. We have to look towards Brazil and the French coaching systems. They are far superior," he said.