Socceroos coach Holger Osieck has today named a provisional 24-man squad for Australia’s upcoming internationals against France and Canada. There are a host of new faces added to the team that was embarrassed by Brazil in their last outing for the matches to be played in Paris and London next month.
Among them is Jackson Irvine, who is currently playing in the Scottish Premier League. It is the first call-up to the national team for the 20-year-old and follows his good form for the Young Socceroos at the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey earlier this year.
Another addition is Oliver Bozanic, who earns his second call-up to the squad after making his debut against Ireland back in 2009. Bozanic is the son of former Socceroo Vic and is currently playing his club football for FC Luzern in Switzerland. Another player currently plying his trade in the Swiss Super League, Dario Vidosic also gets his first call up since his transfer a couple of months ago.
Two players with A-League experience making a return to the national fold are Matthew Leckie and Nikita Rukavytsya. The former Adelaide United and Perth Glory products were last included for the Socceroos match against the Korea Republic last November. The pair were both also on the scoresheet for their club side FSV Frankfurt at the weekend.
David Carney and Jason Davidson also make a return after an extended absence, with Osieck no doubt keen to test out some of his defensive options in the face of Australia’s capitulation against Brazil.
Carney’s teammate at New York Red Bull, Tim Cahill also returns to the squad alongside another Socceroos veteran, Luke Wilkshire. The pair will be welcome additions and will no doubt slot straight back into the starting side having missed Australia’s clash against Brazil due to injury.
The only A-League players selected to make the trip are new Victory captain Mark Milligan and former Roar captain Matt Mckay. As such they will likely miss their club’s opening match of the new season as the internationals coincide with the first round of domestic action.
Captain Lucas Neill, who is now playing in Japan following a short stint with Sydney FC, will again lead the side and he’ll equal Peter Wilson’s record of 60 matches as Socceroos skipper if he plays in both fixtures.
The Socceroos play France on 11 October and will back up against Canada four days later at Craven Cottage in London. With the time difference that means both internationals will take place 6.00am the following day Sydney time.
While we won’t be able to screen live coverage you can be sure we’ll have replays on throughout the respective days at Strathfield Sports Club, as the Socceroos aim to earn back some respect of their own ahead of next year’s World Cup in Brazil.