Forgotten Socceroos striker Mitchell Duke is on the war path, claiming Ange Postecoglou never looked at him for the national team, and the quality of the J1 League deserves attention.
Duke is a regular for Japanese first division side Shimizu S-Pulse, but hasn’t made a Socceroos appearance since Australia’s 6-0 loss to Brazil in 2013.
Duke moved to Japan in 2015, becoming a stalwart for his club in the successive years, but told The World Game he believes he’s been overlooked.
“I really don’t think (Ange) ever had me watched,” Duke said.
“I know when Australia was playing Japan in their World Cup qualifier in Saitama, they (assistants Ante Milicic and Peter Cklamovski) scouted Milos (Degenek) at Yokohama.
"But he was already in the squad. I was only an hour away on the bullet train from Tokyo playing against Urawa Reds.
“They could have come to see what I am about, and what I’m doing over here, but they didn’t.
“That was disappointing. I played almost every game last year and if they’d come and seen me and said ‘you don’t fit into our system’ then fair enough.”
While Duke isn’t a regular goalscorer, and now plays on the wing or as a wide midfielder for Shimizu, his modified style will be noticed by Postecoglou when the 27-year-old faces Yokohama F Marinos five rounds into the season.
Whether van Marwijk will pay attention, however, is another matter.
“The J1 League is a top class competition - it’s really difficult to play here,” Duke said.
“We played a university team the other week in a pre-season hit out and those young boys were A-League quality.
“You see things here that look outrageous and crazy in terms of what you see in the A-League, but (here) they are just the norm.
“I’d love to be looked at but I’m not counting on anything as I’ve been out of the national team set up for quite some time now.
“(But) I’m a proud Aussie so I’d love to get back in. I’ve been playing regularly in a top league in Asia, so hopefully they will check me out."