As many as five players could make their international debuts when the Socceroos meet South Korea, as Holger Osieck looks to broaden his options
|By PADDY HIGGS
Australia coach Holger Osieck has turned to youth for November 14's friendly against South Korea, with Tom Rogic, Mathew Leckie, Eli Babalj and Aziz Behich all in line for international debuts.
Much of the speculation leading up the squad announcement had surrounded whether Osieck would test his depth, with the Socceroos coach unable to call upon many of his stars for December's qualification tournament for the 2013 Eaff East Asian Cup.
It has meant that, while captain Lucas Neill and veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer will travel to Hwaseong to face South Korea, there are places for a host of youngsters or fringe players.
The likes of Mark Bresciano, Brett Holman, Tim Cahill and Robbie Kruse have not been called up, with Osieck summoning five players - including Melbourne Victory striker Archie Thompson - from the A-League.
Mariners attacking midfielder Rogic, team-mate and goalkeeper Mat Ryan and Melbourne Heart full-back Behich are all a chance to debut from that quintet.
Forwards Eli Babalj [Red Star Belgrade] and Mathew Leckie [on-loan from Borussia Monchengladbach at FSV Frankfurt] could also win first Socceroos caps.
There has also been a recall for Perth Glory defender Michael Thwaite, while Carl Valeri could play his 50th international if he takes the field against South Korea.
Eli BABALJ Red Star Belgrade, SERBIA
Aziz BEHICH Melbourne Heart FC, AUSTRALIA
Alex BROSQUE Al-Ain Club, UAE
James HOLLAND FK Austria Vienna, AUSTRIA
Mathew LECKIE FSV Frankfurt 1899, GERMANY
Ryan McGOWAN Heart of Midlothian FC, SCOTLAND
Matthew McKAY Busan I Park, KOREA REPUBLIC
Lucas NEILL Al-Wasl Sports Club, UAE
Tommy OAR FC Utrecht, NETHERLANDS
Tom ROGIC Central Coast Mariners FC, AUSTRALIA
Nikita RUKAVYTSYA FSV Mainz 05, GERMANY
Mathew RYAN Central Coast Mariners FC, AUSTRALIA -
Adam SAROTA FC Utrecht, NETHERLANDS
Mark SCHWARZER Fulham FC, ENGLAND
Matthew SPIRANOVIC Al Arabi, QATAR
Archie THOMPSON Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA
Michael THWAITE Perth Glory FC, AUSTRALIA
Carl VALERI U.S. Sassuolo Calcio, ITALY
Luke WILKSHIRE FK Dinamo Moscow, RUSSIA