Central Coast pair Mitchell Duke and Trent Sainsbury are among an 11-man local squad selected for a Socceroos camp
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
Central Coast youngsters Trent Sainsbury and Mitchell Duke have been rewarded for helping the Mariners win the A-League title by gaining selection in a Socceroos training camp for next week.
Australia boss Holger Osieck has selected 11 local-based players for a week-long camp on the Central Coast ahead of June's crucial World Cup qualifiers against Japan, Jordan and Iraq.
Uncontracted captain Lucas Neill headlines the group, which also includes Reading trialist Craig Goodwin, Western Sydney midfielder Aaron Mooy and Brisbane defender Ivan Frainjic.
Experienced stars like Eugene Galekovic, Jonathan McKain, Mark Milligan, Jade North, Michael Thwaite and Dario Vidosic were also included to help maintain their fitness now the A-League season is over.
"We currently have two groups of players, those that are still playing in their domestic leagues and those from Australia that are in their off-season," Osieck said.
"The purpose of this training camp is to assess the physical standard of the players out of season and get them to a similar level compared to the other players."
While Duke's selection is somewhat of a shock, there's no surprise Sainsbury has been included after a breakout A-League season with the Mariners.
The 21-year-old West Australian has been the club's most consistent defender in both the A-League and ACL, which has generated plenty of interest from European clubs.
Sainsbury, who has been linked with English clubs Southampton and Bolton, will trial with Swiss side FC Basel once the Mariners finish their knockout ACL tie with Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande later this month.
The camp is also being held in conjunction with a Young Socceroos training block, ahead of their FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign in Turkey in June.
The Socceroos, who are currently third in their World Cup qualifying group, play their final three qualifiers next month, starting with a tricky away clash against Japan on June 4.
Osieck's men finish their campaign with a home clash against Jordan a week later and then Iraq (June 18) and need at least two victories to book their ticket to Brazil in 2014.