Socceroos Head Coach Holger Osieck has named a largely A-League based squad for the upcoming EAFF East Asian Cup tournament which includes several debutants.
Osieck's provisional squad of 24-players was released today and is comprised of 19 players from the Hyundai A-League and five from Asian-based clubs.
Mark Birighitti, Josh Brillante, Mitch Duke, Craig Goodwin, Tomi Juric, Connor Pain, Erik Paartalu and Trent Sainsbury may have the opportunity to make their senior international debuts for the Socceroos at the tournament.
The Socceroos will play against Japan, China PR and Korea Republic.
Veteran striker Archie Thompson may also have the chance to equal Damian Mori’s Socceroos goal scoring record of 29 goals in A-International matches.
Osieck has elected to announce an extra player in a provisional squad of 24 as he is yet to officially hear if a number of players will be formally released to play in the tournament by their clubs.
The Socceroos head coach believes that the clubs, who are part of the East Asian Football Federation, should be embracing the tournament that features the Australians, along with hosts Korea Republic, Japan and China PR.
‘‘The foreign clubs created a lot of problems,’’ said Osieck.
‘‘I understand the games are not FIFA protected but there is a gentleman's agreement between the competing countries that players from the respective leagues should be released to play.
‘‘If you host a tournament like this for me it’s a no brainer that players are released.’’
Of particular note, Australian World Cup qualification hero Josh Kennedy is in doubt as his club Nagoya Grampus is remaining firm on him not playing in the tournament.
‘‘Nagoya created a number of problems for us in not releasing Josh Kennedy.
‘‘I had a chat with Stojkovic (Nagoya Grampus's manager) and he agreed to let him play but right away we got a letter from the club denying the release. It's not a good situation and I don't accept it.’’
With the squad only needing to be finalised 24 hours out of from the Socceroos opening match of the tournament, Osieck will be hoping that his Asian-based players are able to join the side for the Socceroos opening match of the tournament.
The Socceroos will arrive in Seoul on Wednesday evening and will play their first match of the EAFF East Asian Cup against the host nation, the Korea Republic, on Saturday, July 20 (kick-off 8pm AEST). Their second match of the tournament will be against Japan on Thursday, July 25 (kick-off 8pm AEST) and the final match will be against China PR on Sunday, July 28 (kick-off 6.15pm AEST).
Socceroos provisional squad for EAFF East Asian Cup
Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk) Newcastle Jets FC
Joshua BRILLANTE Newcastle Jets FC
Nathan COE (gk) Melbourne Victory FC
Robert CORNTHWAITE Chunnam Dragons, KOREA REPUBLIC
Mitchell DUKE Central Coast Mariners FC
Ivan FRANJIC Brisbane Roar FC
Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) Adelaide United FC
Craig GOODWIN Newcastle Jets FC
Tomi JURIC Western Sydney Wanderers FC,
Josh KENNEDY Nagoya Grampus, JAPAN
Matt McKay Changchun Yatai FC, CHINA PR
Ryan McGowan Shandong Luneng Taishan FC, CHINA PR
Mark MILLIGAN Melbourne Victory FC
Aaron MOOY Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Mitch NICHOLS Melbourne Victory FC
Jade NORTH Brisbane Roar FC
Connor PAIN Melbourne Victory FC
Erik PAARTALU Tianjin Teda, CHINA PR
Trent SAINSBURY Central Coast Mariners FC
Adam TAGGART Newcastle Jets FC
Archie THOMPSON Melbourne Victory FC
Michael THWAITE Perth Glory FC
Dario VIDOSIC Adelaide United FC
Ruben ZADKOVICH Newcastle Jets FC.
What do you think of Osieck's squad? Is there enough fresh young talent included?