Harry Kewell’s international future is up in the air after he was omitted from the Socceroos squad to face Wales in a friendly in Cardiff on August 11.
But Socceroos coach Holger Osieck recalled Barclays Premier League player Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer to his squad after they missed the June friendlies against New Zealand and Serbia in Australia.
Osieck also named Middlesbrough striker Scott McDonald in his18-man squad, while calling up Korea-based defender Luke DeVere for the first time.
Former Brisbane Roar defender DeVere has not featured for the Socceroos since playing under Pim Verbeek.
DeVere was named to replace Sasa Ognenovski, whom Osieck said was just coming back from an injury suffered in the K-Korean league.
Osieck said that he did not consider striker Josh Kennedy due to a hectic club schedule in Japan.
Osieck has retained 14 of the players who featured against New Zealand and Serbia.Midfielder Brett Emerton, meanwhile, is poised to become the second-most capped Socceroos player, behind Schwarzer, as he’s set to equal Alex Tobin’s tally of 87 full international caps.
Kewell and Neill have maintained a training regime since being released by Turkish club Galatasaray, but only the latter was deemed fit for the clash in Cardiff on August 10.
“There is a slight difference between the two of them, one is fit and one was is not fit,” Osieck said on Tuesday after announcing his 18-strong squad.
“Lucas has done a lot of work. He is in very good shape but Harry is not in very good shape.”
Kewell, who also missed the home friendlies against New Zealand and Serbia in June, now appears to be racing the clock if he is to play for Australia in the opening FIFA World Cup qualifier against Thailand in September.
“We all know what value Harry brings to the team,” Osieck said. “I am really hoping he will be in game shape for the qualifiers. He didn’t take part in the two games in June because he was not really fit. He had to undergo some sort of treatment and didn’t have full training in the meantime so he is definitely not in a position to play right now.”
Australia have not played Wales previously at full international level.
The Socceroos are No.23 in the FIFA world rankings, with Wales No.112.
The Socceroos will assemble in Wales today after completing weekend club commitments.
Socceroos Squad To Play Wales
- Tim Cahill (Everton, England)
- Luke DeVere (Gyeongnam FC, South Korea)
- Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers, England)
- Adam Federici (Reading, England)
- Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar, Holland)
- Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace, England)
- Neil Kilkenny (Bristol City, England)
- Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)
- Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough, England)
- Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar)
- Lucas Neill (uncontracted)
- Mark Schwarzer (Fulham, England)
- Matthew Spiranovic (Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan)
- James Troisi (Kayserispor Kulubu, Turkey)
- Carl Valeri (Sassuolo Calcio, Italy)
- Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow, Russia)
- Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough, England)
- Michael Zullo (Utrecht, Netherlands)
Buford Balony says: It’ll be hard to win with 1 uncontracted player, and I think I might be seeing things, but there is a player from the team with the GAYEST name in football, Crystal Palace. God help us.