Mark Milligan, Robbie Kruse and Mathew Leckie train with the Socceroos
Mark Milligan, Robbie Kruse and Mathew Leckie train with the Socceroos

Ex-Roos skipper backs ‘obvious’ captain choice

WITH Mile Jedinak opting to hang up the boots, the Socceroos need a new captain.

And according to most sources, defender Trent Sainsbury is the frontrunner for the role.

But former Socceroos skipper Paul Okon believes Graham Arnold should turn to veteran Mark Milligan rather than handing the armband to his son-in-law.

"I definitely think he's [Sainsbury] going to play a big part in the national team moving forward," Okon said on Optus Sport.

Mark Milligan has been backed by Paul Okon as the obvious choice for Socceroos captain
Mark Milligan has been backed by Paul Okon as the obvious choice for Socceroos captain

"I think with still having Mark Milligan around, post-Mile leading up the Asian Cup I think Mark is for me the obvious person to be captain.

"He's experienced, he's playing regularly with Hibs, I think he's got the respect of everyone."

At 33, Milligan is an elder statesman of the national team setup having been to the four World Cups and played 71 times across a 12-year period. The versatile midfielder turned defender has hit the ground running at new side Hibernian since sealing his dream move in August.

However, Okon says Sainsbury is also a fine choice for the role.

"I also can understand that if Arnie does decide to go with Trent for the long term of the Socceroos I don't have a problem."

"Trent has already worn the armband in the game that he played it didn't hinder him at all in his performance. He is certainly a player we're going to talk a lot about in the future."

Sainsbury is thought to be leading the race due to his long term future with the side, however by the same token, goalkeeper Maty Ryan should also be in the frame. But his position could work against him.

Keeper Maty Ryan is another potential option for the Socceroos captaincy
Keeper Maty Ryan is another potential option for the Socceroos captaincy

"Maty possibly but some coaches probably don't like to have a captain in goals because he's too far away from the action," Okon clarified.

"I personally have always liked to have a defender or a midfielder as captain but that's down to the coach. But certainly if Maty was to be appointed captain, he has the respect of everyone and nobody would argue."



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