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We have the right mix, says Australia's Behich


Dubai: Australia begin their Road to Qatar and China PR campaign on Tuesday and the Socceroos, left-back Aziz Behich believes, have the right amount of experience needed to navigate through their Asian Qualifiers journey.

Australia face Kuwait at the Al Kuwait SC Stadium in their opening Group B tie and Behich, who became the 60th player to wear the captain’s armband for the Socceroos in June’s international friendly against Korea Republic in Busan, says there are several leaders in the squad for the challenges the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualification campaign will deliver.

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“We have got a strong group at the moment and I think we have a mixture of experienced and inexperienced players.

"It is for us (experienced players) to lead at the front and show the way for the new guys that are coming into camp or that have less caps than us,” said Behich, speaking ahead of Australia shifting base to Kuwait on Sunday from their training camp in the United Arab Emirates.

“It (captaining Australia) was a proud moment for myself and obviously for my family as well,” Behich said. "It is something that you dream of as a little kid, to play for your country, but I am grateful that 'Arnie' (Australia head coach Graham Arnold) gave me the chance to lead the boys out that night and the boys put in a great performance so it was pretty easy to lead them.”

"My job throughout the camp was to lead by example, set the standard at training so the new boys could see what we have been working on.”

The atmosphere in the training camp, added Behich, was just perfect.

"We have used a lot of players since Arnie took over and a lot of these players in the camp have now had a taste of how we want to play, how the coach has set us up," said the Istanbul Başakşehir player.

Australia's campaign will see them also having to play Jordan, Chinese Taipei and Nepal but Behich is confident the Socceroos have the players for the job.

"We have a great squad, we have a great depth. There is a lot of energy."

Australia will need that against a Kuwait side who opened their campaign with a resounding 7-0 win over Nepal on Thursday. Jordan, meanwhile, defeated Chinese Taipei 2-1 and the Socceroos will be aiming for full points to stay abreast of the early pacesetters in Group B.

Photos: AFP

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