It never works when a national coach is so openly contemptuous of the domestic league. Even as the national team does well.
Pim Verbeek's success has the FFA and the media swooning but it has left the A-League owners fuming. They point to his Eurocentric attitude in encouraging talented young players to leave the A League and at the same time discouraging Socceroos from returning home from Europe.
The yawning talent gap was cited as a factor in the 5-0 thrashing of Central Coast by Kawasaki Frontale in an Asian Champions League match. Central Coast signing of Scott Chipperfield fell through in the 11th hour as he decided to extend his FC Basel contract. Chipperfield was apparently convinced by Verbeek that remaining in Europe would be better for him.
There are two points to this story. First, there were already a number of overseas players like Mark Viduka, Brett Emerton, and Lucas Neill from sports programs established by Australian Institute of Sports (AIS). More importantly, the success of the 2006 Socceroos shone a spotlight on these players who competed in the European leagues. The A-League established in 2005 did not incubate this talent. Thus, national success has very little to do with the establishment of the A League. Pragmatic coaches like Guus Hiddink and now Pim Verbeek know that. They are brought in for the short measure and their job is to ensure the 2006 success. The best way to replicate this is to use the talent already present and eschew a national development scheme which might bear fruit many years later, if at all. Graham Arnold might have entertained the crazy notion of using Oz based players but his teams performance led to a national hangover.
Unfortunately what happens to A-League club players is that national selection then seems contingent on European exposure. Hence the desire to leave and a reluctance to come back. A message Pim Verbeek seems to have articulated quite vocally and is now taking heat from the A League managers.
This is the reverse of the J League established in 1992. Their first international star was Hidetoshi Nakata who started in that league. Shunsuke Nakamura, the Celtic standout played for five years for the Yokohma Marinos. It took Japan ten years but the 2002 World Cup squad that tasted quarterfinal success was the outcome of indigenous talent exclusively nurtured by the J-League. It continues to this day. The fortunes of the national team is inextricably linked with J-League success.