Football 2 years ago

A-League not much slower than UK: Mooy

  • A-League not much slower than UK: Mooy

    SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Aaron Mooy of Australia takes on Danny Drinkwater of England during the International Friendly match between England and Australia at Stadium of Light on May 27, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

He's on the verge of his biggest career move yet, with a shift to Europe a near-certainty.

But Aaron Mooy's impending leap mightn't be as large as he first thought, with the Socceroos mainstay observing only a modest gulf in pace between the A-League and his recent experience of England.

Mooy was outstanding against the Three Lions in Sunderland on the weekend, prompting coach Ange Postecoglou to name him as one of the best midfielders on pitch despite the 2-1 loss.

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That his flourishing skills in Australia's Asian World Cup qualifiers translated against an England squad readying for Euro 2016 is testament to why suitors from the UK and Europe are knocking on Mooy's door, with Belgian outfit Club Brugge leading the hunt.

The quietly spoken 25-year-old is on the verge of leaving A-League side Melbourne City, with his decision to be made following the two-match friendly series with Greece in Sydney and Melbourne on June 4 and 7.

Mooy insists he still has "no idea" where he'll end up.

But despite the intense speculation, he didn't feel over-awed by the Socceroos' easily recognisable England opposition, nor the big-time scouts who would have been watching his every move.

Because while the game was high profile, Mooy believed the tempo of football wasn't all that different to the A-League.

"Everyone talks about it saying it's different, (but) I don't think it's that much quicker," Mooy said in Sydney ahead of Saturday's opener with Greece at ANZ Stadium.

"They're better players on the ball, and probably physically better as well, but I didn't really feel like it was a lot quicker than playing in the A-League."

Mooy said the weather had a part to play.

"When it's hot in the A-League the game is slower because it's impossible to play at high speed the whole game," he said.

"When it's cooler it's a lot easier to run and you don't get as tired as quick.

"I think that's probably one of the major parts of the game being a bit quicker over there."

The England match was Mooy's first in five weeks since the end of City's A-League finals run.

While he felt fatigued late in his 84-minute shift, his coach offered high praise.

"Hopefully people saw he's able to mix it with the best," Postecoglou said.

"I thought the two best midfielders on the pitch were Tommy Rogic and Aaron Mooy - actually the three best because I think Mile Jedinak was outstanding as well.

"I can't name one English midfielder who got the better of those three."

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