The Socceroos celebrate

Tony and Trent fly the WA flag

PERTH-BORN Trent Sainsbury wasn’t the only West Australian to be a key figure in Australia’s magnificent success in the 2015 Asian Cup. Tony Franken also played an important role for the Socceroos.
Franken is Australia’s goalkeeper coach – a role he has filled for over a decade.
The former East Fremantle Tricolore player was responsible for making sure that the Aussie keepers – Mat Ryan, Mitch Langerak and Eugene Galekovic – were fit, sharp and ready for action.

He was also goalkeeper coach for the 2006 World Cup finals – when Australia reached the last 16 for the first time – and the 2010 and 2014 World Cup finals.
Franken played 14 times for Australia between 1984 and 1992 and also represented his country at Under-20 level in the 1983 World Youth Cup finals in Mexico.
Following a series of eye-catching efforts as a teenager at Tricolore, he gained a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra in 1982. He joined National Soccer League club Canberra City in 1984 and later linked up with Sydney Croatia. He also played for APIA and Sydney Olympic and finished his career with Perth Glory, playing 39 times between 1997 and 2003.
He was named in WA’s Century of Champions in 2004 – and was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame WA’s Hall of Champions in 2012.
The 23-year-old Sainsbury, meanwhile, is the latest of a stream of young Australians who are making their mark on the European stage.
A youth player with Armadale and Perth Glory, he won a scholarship with the AIS and was then snapped up by Central Coast Mariners, making a huge impression before joining Dutch Eredivisie side PEC Swolle in January, 2014.
A cool and calm defender with precise passing skills, Sainsbury quickly caught the eye of Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou. He won his first cap against Belgium in 2014, doing well enough to convince Postecoglou that he could be a crucial component of the Asian Cup squad.
He impressed in the Socceroos opening group game against Kuwait, which they won 4-1, and went on to score his first international goal in the 2-0 victory over United Arab Emirates in the semi-final.

Sainsbury was also a big factor in Australia’s extra-time win over South Korea in the final…and was awarded with the man-of-the-match trophy.
He was one of four Aussies to be named in the Team of the Tournament, the others being Ryan, Massimo Luongo and Tim Cahill.

PIC ONE: Franken works with the Aussie keepers before the Asian Cup final. PIC TWO: Franken surveys the scene of the Asian Cup final. PIC THREE: Trent Sainsbury in action in the final. PIC FOUR: Sainsbury (second left) is mobbed by team-mates after scoring in the semi-final. 

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