Sebastian Hassett August 08, 2012
Australia's coach Holger Osieck has shied away from picking a host of new names for the friendly against Scotland in Edinburgh - but has still decided not to call up Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell.
Osieck has picked only two players never to have been called up before - defensive pair Jason Davidson and Ryan McGowan - while a fellow defender, Aston Villa's Chris Herd, has been called up twice before being withdrawn.
Young players of minimal or nil international experience - such as Massimo Luongo, Richard Porta, Rosytn Griffiths, Matthew Leckie, Mustafa Amini, Nikita Rukavytsya, Ryan McGowan, Brent McGrath and Matthew Ryan - were all bandied around but did not make the final cut.
Instead, a majority of familiar faces will be in the team, signifying Osieck's desire to keep a unified squad together ahead of next month's friendly match against Lebanon and the all-important World Cup qualifier in Amman against Jordan.
Kewell was not selected by Osieck as he has been without competitive football for several months since leaving Melbourne Victory and has still not found a new club since returning to the UK.
"It's very unfortunate for him that he is still without a club and we are waiting for some kind of signing and I hope that will work out pretty quickly," Osieck said. "I still think he has great potential and whenever I have had him in the group, he was a very positive asset."
Captain Lucas Neill is himself without a home but Osieck said the defensive stalwart was in a "different situation" to Kewell.
"He is also in between clubs but he has been working with teams and is close to re-signing with one of the Middle East teams," he said. "In his role as captain he is very important to me, he is very important the team."
While Cahill has found a new club, Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls, he has been granted time to settle in to his new surroundings.
"What can I say, it's his decision. Even though he was on a two-year contract with Everton, he has opted for a new challenge - North America - a new environment and he thinks it's a good move for him," Osieck said. "The MLS is becoming stronger and stronger, it has developed tremendously. I can understand a player looking for a new challenge. It's not an easy league. He will be forced to show his best and that is very positive for the Socceroos as well."
Brett Emerton, who is still recovering from ankle surgery, was also not considered for selection but there is a reprieve for Scott McDonald, who might be on his final chance to impress after finding himself in-and-out of recent international squads.
Match details: Australia v Scotland, 5am AEST 16 August, Easter Road Stadium.
Australian squad: Australia: Mark Bresciano, Alex Brosque, David Carney, Jason Davidson, Adam Federici, Chris Herd, Brett Holman, Mile Jedinak, Neil Kilkenny, Robbie Kruse, Mitch Langerak, Scott McDonald, Ryan McGowan, Lucas Neill, Sasa Ognenovski, Mark Schwarzer, Archie Thompson, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire, Rhys Williams.
Scotland squad: Allan McGregor (Besiktas), Matt Gilks (Blackpool), David Marshall (Cardiff) Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Phil Bardsley (Sunderland), Christophe Berra (Wolves), Gary Caldwell (Wigan), Daniel Fox (Southampton), Grant Hanley (Blackburn), Russell Martin (Norwich), Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic), Andy Webster (Hearts) Charlie Adam (Liverpool), Barry Bannan (Aston Villa), Don Cowie (Cardiff), Graham Dorrans (West Brom), James Forrest (Celtic), Shaun Maloney (Wigan), James Morrison (West Brom), Robert Snodgrass (Norwich) Matt Phillips (Blackpool), Jamie Mackie (QPR), Steven Naismith (Everton), Jordan Rhodes (Huddersfield).