Sydney: Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold on Thursday announced six debutants in his squad for the upcoming friendly international against Korea Republic.
Sydney FC championship winning duo Andrew Redmayne (pictured above) and Brandon O’Neill were rewarded for their successful A-League seasons, as was Melbourne Victory’s Lawrence Thomas, whilst 20-year-old defender Harry Souttar (pictured below, left), who plays with Championship side Stoke City, English-based winger Ryan Williams and German-based striker Brandon Borrello all have a chance to earn their first Socceroos caps.
Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold said: “Our World Cup qualification campaign preparations start now. The upcoming camp and friendly international in Korea Republic provides us the opportunity to expose more players to international football, which is vital as we prepare for a long qualification campaign.
“We have seen how arduous the previous World Cup path was for our squad and it is imperative that we spend this valuable time together to have a close look and some of our next generation.”
“We have 11 players in this squad who have all had excellent seasons in the domestic competition and my message to those playing in the A-League is that if you are playing regularly and consistently for your club, you will come into consideration for the next phase of World Cup qualifiers,” he said.
“This international window also gives me the chance to spend an extended time with some of our more experienced players who have recently been missing from international football, but have been playing well for their respective clubs like Matthew Spiranovic, Rhys Williams (pictured below), Adam Taggart, Bailey Wright, Josh Brillante and Brad Smith,” he said.
Arnold said it was also important that the players involved in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 and the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, had an opportunity to refresh ahead of the new season.
“The last couple of years has been tough on many of our senior players with little rest in between seasons. I know what those guys are capable of and I believe it is important they start their new campaigns with fresh bodies and minds. They will all be considered again for our first round of qualifiers in September,” he said.
Here are the 24 players selected for our camp in Korea Republic. https://t.co/0jBfXz7jhV pic.twitter.com/E5XifRwdXG
— Caltex Socceroos (@Socceroos) May 23, 2019
The inclusion of Rhys and Ryan Williams is the first time two brothers have been named in a Socceroos squad since Adam and Joel Griffiths in May 2008. Other brothers to represent the Socceroos in recent times include, Adam and Ryan Griffiths in March 2008, Tony and Aurelio Vidmar in 2001 and John and Ross Aloisi in 1998.
The international friendly against Korea Republic will be played on June 7 in Busan and will be Australia’s first senior men’s international since the completion of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
Australia will discover their opponents for the first phase of qualifiers in July, and will play FIFA World Cup preliminary fixtures on the road to Qatar at home and abroad in September, October, and November 2019.