Holman counting on Socceroos to surprise

Socceroos World Cup hero Brett Holman is hoping an inexperienced Australian line-up can surprise a few people in Brazil.

Holman, 30, pulled the plug on his international career on the eve of the global showpiece, citing family and club reasons for his decision.

The Al Nasr attacking midfielder reached the pinnacle of world football when he fired home two-goals in South Africa 2010. Since then there has been an almost complete changing of the guard in the Socceroos ranks.

In a Q and A with The National Australia's former hitman, now based in Dubai, gave his impression on what the Green and Gold can expect when they face off against footballing powerhouses Spain, the Netherlands and Chile in the group stage.

"It’s going to be very exciting for Australia, because they have the opportunity to play against three great teams, all in the top 20 in the world," Holman said. "It will be a great experience for the players.

"Hopefully, with the Australian mentality, the boys can give it a good go and surprise a few people along the way."

He added: "The key will be being aware of the strength of the opponents, who will all be individually very strong, and adjusting the tactics accordingly.

"The players will need to be switched on and know that every small opportunity will be lethal against the quality opposition. Success will be competing with these teams, and surprising a few people along the way."

Holman said the Socceroos were going through a transitional phase similar to the Netherlands and gave his pick for Aussie rookie and veteran to shine on the world’s biggest sporting stage.

"I hope Mark Milligan excels in Brazil, because it’s his third World Cup, but he didn’t play at the first two," he said.

"He has done very well for the national team recently, so I hope he has a good tournament.

"Mat Ryan has massive shoes to fill in goal following the standard set by Mark Schwarzer, but he was voted goalkeeper of the year in Belgium, so hopefully he can keep that form going for Australia.

As for the future of coach Ange Postecoglou's young side: "The most important thing for our national team is to have a core group of players who are playing regular football."