Ahead of the Socceroos crucial World Cup qualifier in Saitama, Japan on June 4th, Perth Glory-s star central defender Michael Thwaite gave his thoughts on the ever growing A-League influence on the squad and the challenges faced by the Australian based stars.

Commenting on the training regime imposed post A-League season and bringing the seven A-League players up to the required level, Thwaite commented, “ We were definitely pushed, and Holger (Osiek) really tested us both physically and mentally, so I think we would be at a similar level as the guys playing overseas”

The challenge facing the A-League contingent however is an ever present one, “ The next step is to cement a spot regularly within the squad and also in that starting eleven. We need to make the most of the camp and the next three games “, said Thwaite.

And with Australian teams being increasingly competitive on the Asian Football scene, Thwaite remarked that whilst the gap was now closing from a football perspective, there was some way to go to ensure continued competitiveness “The level of football is approaching a similar level to the Asian standard but in terms of finance that is the missing factor”

The Asian football culture however seemed to have an immediate and positive impact on the tall defender who said that, “He loved the culture” and “Who knows, I may even play here one day”

Perth Glory fans hope that is well after a long and distinguished career with the club