What’s exciting right now? The Australian players who’ve transferred to Asia for more game time and improve in a new and challenging environment.
Instead of recycling the same names in the transfer market, it’s time A-League clubs thought laterally and track those Aussies who’ve moved out of their comfort zone to improve their games in Asia.
These are the types of players who A-League clubs should be looking to attract back.
Some astute judges gauge the Thai League, for example, as being better technically than the A-League. And the foreigner players in the Hong Kong Premier League and in Malaysia are excellent quality.
With new clubs coming into the A-League over the next two years, the talent pool needs constant mining and scouting.
Here are five quite young Australians in Asia right now who have taken their game to a new level and we think should be looked at by clubs in the A-League.
(Kitchee, Hong Kong Premier League)
Talk about reinventing yourself.
Fresh from winning last weekend’s Senior Shield Cup Final over Tai Po 3-2, Lum has completely reshaped his career in Hong Kong after it went disastrously adrift back in Oz.
Now 26, Lum was meant to be the next big thing after his stints with the AIS, the Young Socceroos and Sydney FC’s youth side at the start of this decade.
So much so, FFA got him to speak at a World Cup 2018-2022 bid ceremony, as a potential Socceroo of the future.
But that A-League contract, frustratingly and oddly, never materialised.
The player dropped down to the NPL in Sydney as his career floundered in the second tier before Hong Kong threw him a lifeline.
He’s been with the powerful Kitchee club ever since early 2016 and he’s reveling in regular professional football.
Lum is now into his fourth year with the club with the classy central midfielder realising much of his early potential.
He's ready. And he’d be a terrific pick up by any A-League club.