Former Young Matildas coach Ante Juric says Australia needs to produce a bigger pool of players at a young level after failing to qualify for youth World Cups in over a decade.
The last time the Young Matildas (U20's) qualified for a World Cup was in 2006, while the Junior Matildas (U17's) have never qualified since FIFA started playing the tournament in 2008.
Juric, 43 is a former head coach of the Young Matildas and Junior Matildas, and is the current Sydney FC W-League coach.
The former Socceroo also had a stint serving as Matildas assistant coach in 2013/14 and he believes Australia needs to be developing a greater number of elite players at youth level.
“My theory is we need a bigger pool of players,” Juric said speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo.
“If you get a bigger pool our youngsters will be better, and we’ll have seven or eight good youngsters coming through from the junior team and then we've got a chance to qualify.
“The players are getting better, but there is still a lot to improve upon for boys and girls; I put them in the same boat.
“They’ve got more opportunities now as they start younger, so they are getting better that way. Our young girls are getting better but in saying that we need to improve certain things.
“When I was Nation Youth team Women's Coach we struggled against China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea and that still happens, so we are missing something.”
While Australia’s junior teams are struggling, it’s a different story for the senior Matildas.
Victories against USA, Brazil, Japan and China has produced a record breaking seven-game winning streak that will put the Australians into the top five of the FIFA rankings at their next edition.