New generation of Socceroos plant seedlings of a new identity at World Cup | Australia

Seventeen World Cup debutants walk into a bar. They’re all asked for ID, questioned on whether they are grown-up enough to be here. Six of them, after all, only had their first drink in September against New Zealand. Nine have thrown back five or fewer. Now here they all are, in Qatar, seeking a bit of Dutch courage against reigning champions France.

For many Australians back home setting their alarms for Wednesday’s early morning kick-off, this 26-man Socceroos squad will feel unfamiliar. Granted, some quarters of the nation still live long in the past, as if they cryogenically froze…

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