Socceroos won’t have the experience against the Kiwis and Serbia

Experienced trio Mark Schwarzer, Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell are all out of the Socceroos’ upcoming internationals against New Zealand and Serbia next month.

While Cahill’s absence was anticipated, the omission of both Schwarzer and Kewell came as quite a shock.

Osieck told reporters in Sydney the absence of some of the biggest Socceroos names was due to a mix of injury and workload concerns.

“Obviously we are at the stage of the season with the European-based players that’s very difficult, after a long and very intense season,” he said.

“It’s great to be able to bring some of these others guys in there. Hopefully they will meet our expectations.”

Despite missing the latter part of the Turkish season with a groin injury, captain Lucas Neill has been named in the 23-man squad.

Neill, who plays his club soccer for Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray, is joined in the squad by Brett Emerton, who scored a crucial goal for Blackburn Rovers last weekend as they avoided relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

The squad includes 12 players who were involved in the recent 2-1 win over Germany in Monchengladbach.

Melbourne Victory striker Archie Thompson has been rewarded for his performances in the AFC Champions League with his first selection under Holger Osieck.

“Thompson was in contention for the Asian Cup in Qatar but then he got his injury,” Osieck said.

“We all know his quality. He is a very useful player and it’s good to have him.”

With Schwarzer unavailable, Adam Federici, Mitchell Langerak and Nathan Coe will fight it out for the starting goalkeeper’s spot.

Australia play New Zealand in Adelaide on June 5 and Serbia in Melbourne on June 7.

Socceroos Squad

Alex Brosque, Nathan Coe, Brett Emerton, Adam Federici, Brett Holman, Mile Jedinak, Josh Kennedy, Neil Kilkenny, Robbie Kruse, Mitchell Langerak, Jon McKain, Matt McKay, Mark Milligan, Lucas Neill, Sasa Ognenovski, Matthew Spiranovic, Archie Thompson, James Troisi, Carl Valeri, Dario Vidosic, Rhys Williams, Luke Wilkshire, Michael Zullo.

by Buford Balony


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