Osieck praises J-League for player improvements
Australia coach Holger Osieck has offered high praise for the J-League after watching two Japan-based strikers score two goals each in the Socceroos' 5-0 win over Malaysia.
Osieck, who coached J-League powers Ulwara Reds twice, said the Socceroos are benefiting from Josh Kennedy and Alex Brosque playing with Nagoya Grampus and Shimzu S-Pulse respectively. They scored twice each on Friday in Australia's warmup match for an Asian World Cup qualifier Tuesday against Oman in Sydney.
Kennedy played in Germany for 10 years before making the switch to Nagoya last season. Brosque was with Sydney for five seasons in the A-League following one year with the Brisbane Roar.
''Josh Kennedy, in particular the last season he has become a different player,'' Osieck told Australian Associated Press. ''He's no longer the guy who stands up front waiting for some balls, he's getting involved, his play on the ground has improved tremendously, he can hold the ball, he can pass the ball.
''The games in the J-League definitely help him, same goes for Alex and he played 100 percent different to what he did here in Australia. Sometimes you benefit from different environment.''
Osieck said the pace of the Japanese game forced players to learn to think quickly on their feet, while technical ability was also high.
''It's a combination between pace in technique,'' he said. ''At times, Japanese are a little bit naive tactically but the other two elements that definitely help you to improve your game as well.''