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Oct 14, 2008   |  12:30PM AET

Youthful switch for Socceroo keepers

Youthful switch for Socceroo keepers

When the Sydney FC team travels to Perth on Friday for its Hyundai A-League clash with the Glory it will be without a familiar face who’s been part of the squad since season one.

When the Sydney FC team travels to Perth on Friday for its Hyundai A-League clash with the Glory it will be without a familiar face who-s been part of the squad since season one.

Jim Fraser has guided the fortunes of Sydney FC-s goal-keepers since the start of the National competition, but in recent weeks he-s taken a step back from his role as first-team keeping coach to concentrate on youth development, handing over the reins to former Wigan custodian and Australian representative, John Filan.

“I talked to the club about bringing him in, it was my idea in the first place, he-s the ideal replacement,” said Fraser. “He-s a great character, he-s got 15 years in the Premier League in England and he brings all that experience, he-s the future of Sydney FC.”

Filan was appointed as FC-s Youth League goalkeeping coach earlier this year with a view to stepping into the Socceroo legend-s shoes next season, but the switch has come sooner than expected.

“I was going to have a look at it at the end of the season but we thought about it and it was a good time to swap it over,” Fraser explained. “Filo-s come in, he-s ready to take over and I-m ready to move more into development, which is where my passion is.”

Filan added, “Being involved with the A-League squad and working with Clint (Bolton) and Ivan (Necevski) is great, and it-s worked out well for everyone. Jim is happy with the situation and the manager is as well, so I-m just excited that Sydney wants me to be involved.”

Feeling confident that his senior keepers are in good hands, the man who helped steer Australia into the 1974 World Cup plans to focus more attention on his goalkeeping academy, and to help guide the next generation of Sydney stars in the National Youth League competition.

“It-s where I-ve got to be,” said Fraser. “The idea is that I-ll be in a situation, through the academy to keep feeding kids into Sydney FC so we keep having good keepers coming through the club and into the A-League.”

Filan will be on Sydney-s bench this Sunday, alongside the rest of the senior coaching staff when the Sky Blue brigade goes for Glory against Perth in round 8 of the Hyundai A-League at Members Equity Stadium.