Qantas Socceroos coach Holger Osieck says the door remains open for new players but he will stick to a core squad of international-level players.
Qantas Socceroos coach Holger Osieck has defied suggestions that next week-s friendly against Scotland represents a chance to experiment with his squad, instead sticking to his guns to build a solid and familiar team that can take Australia to Brazil 2014.
Given the match against Scotland has no competitive value and that so many players are still in preseason training, there were calls for Osieck to use the game to trial a number of younger and fringe players.
But the national team boss has a clearly defined plan to take Australia through the long and winding road of World Cup qualification.
As shown in his selection, Osieck already has a core of players he knows and trusts, and given the sporadic nature of Socceroos camps and the sheer distance between players and coaching staff, the head coach intends to keep the same names on his list to ensure his plans are not diluted.
That said, the door remains open, however slightly, for new talent and for those Socceroos looking for another chance.
Osieck and his team will use the Scotland game to appraise the development of Jason Davidson, Chris Herd and Ryan McGowan, but none are guaranteed of a chance to start the game.
“I tried to kill two birds with one stone,” Osieck said. “I definitely have a group together that is the core group for the upcoming round [of qualifying] but on the other hand, I really want to show that I am still looking at additional options and that young players that do well at their clubs will be recognised as well.
“I want to see them [the young players] in the game; it-s not always enough to have a look in training and I wouldn-t guarantee a start for them but there is always the opportunity to get some playing time later on in the game.”
When asked about the chances of the likes of Mustafa Amini, Matthew Leckie, Luke DeVere and James Holland, Osieck made it clear all players will have their chance - but only if they are at the right level and not simply for the sake of experimentation.
“Amini is injured and is considered for the Borussia Dortmund second team, which play in the fourth division. I had DeVere in the group already and he is doing well for his Korean club, and James Holland now plays regularly for Austria Vienna; they are on the radar and will get their opportunity but not for the Scotland game.
“I-m still monitoring very closely everybody and if I think a particular player is ready he will get a call and if I don-t think so, he will be on the waiting list.”
Another name that raised eyebrows was the call-up of striker Scott McDonald, still searching for his first goal for the Socceroos after 25 appearances, but Osieck reiterated that no one is out of contention as long as their form remains good.
“I-m always following all the boys and he is doing well in preseason scoring goals for his club so I decided to give him a second chance.
“It-s always a matter of performance, and I don-t care about anything else. No one is forgotten or out of the running for the squad. We are always monitoring and if we get good reports from clubs then they always have a chance to come back.”
The Qantas Socceroos are next in action on Wednesday, 15 August, when they take on Scotland in an international friendly at Edinburgh-s Easter Road Stadium. Kick off is at 8pm local time (Kick off is at 5am AEST, Thursday, 16 August).
Australia-s FIFA World Cup qualification journey resumes on Tuesday, 11 September, when the Qantas Socceroos meet the challenge of Jordan in Amman. Kick off is at 7pm local time (2am AEST, Wednesday, 12 September).
The Qantas Socceroos are next in Australia in 2013, starting with a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Oman at Sydney-s Stadium Australia on Tuesday, 26 March. Kick off is at 7.30pm local time.
The Qantas Socceroos return to Stadium Australia on Tuesday, 18 June to continue their FIFA World Cup qualification journey against Iraq. Kick off is at 7.30pm local time.