Socceroos coach Graham Arnold believes a lack of structure, not finances, has resulted in Australia's top talent failing to hit the heights of the 'Golden Generation'.
The squad which beat Uruguay to reach the 2006 World Cup finals boasted 16 players competing in the top leagues of Europe.
That total included established Premier League players Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka, Mark Schwarzer, Brett Emerton and Lucas Neill as well as Spanish-based John Aloisi and Italian-based Mark Bresciano.
In contrast Arnold's squad which faced Nepal and Taiwan in World Cup qualifiers last month had just two Premier League players - Brighton pair Mat Ryan and Aaron Mooy - as well as Bundesliga-based Mathew Leckie and Brendan Borrello.
Most of Arnold's players are plying their trade in lower-ranked European leagues such as the Scottish Premiership, England's lower-tiers or in Asia.
Arnold says it's no coincidence Australian players have struggled to make their mark in Europe's top leagues since the Crawford Report led to the overhaul of the game's administration and the foundation of the A-League in 2005.
"I've put those types of details to the board and to a lot of people because in the 35 years I've been involved in the game at national team level, from 1983 to 2003 we had the structure right but no money," Arnold told AAP.
"From 2005 to today we've had the money but not the right structure."
Australia's players' union released a study into the 'Golden Generation' last month.
The study found common factors such as playing backyard soccer at a young age, early exposure to senior football and connection to a particular club were common factors in the development of the pool of talent born between 1972 and 1984.
The report follows 2017's Player Pathway study which had among its findings a lack of professional minutes for young players being a big part of their stunted development.
Arnold has made a point of emphasising to players they will face the axe from his Socceroos setup if they are not regularly starting at their clubs.
His son-in-law Trent Sainsbury has recently completed a move to Israel's Maccabi Haifa after being frozen out at Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven.
Australia's brightest talent - playmaker Daniel Arzani - has also been warned by Arnold he may need to seek a new club if he can't break into Celtic's first team before January following his return from a serious knee injury.
Arnold added: "As long as the boys are playing minutes, and playing a lot of minutes in club land, that's the most important thing for me."