Bite-sized news for you to chew over - Neill gets Wade backing as Socceroos captain, reinforcements for Scotland ahead of Australia friendly and more
Former Australia captain Paul Wade believes current-day equivalent Lucas Neill is the man for the job, despite the veteran's age and lack of club. Socceroos coach Holger Osieck has included the former Blackburn and West Ham defender in his squad for Wednesday's friendly with Scotland, despite Neill failing to find another club since departing United Arab Emirates Pro-League club Al Jazira in June. The move won support from Wade, who has backed Neill to hold onto the Socceroos' top job. "I've always thought the Socceroos are not a selection team," Wade told Football Australia's website. "If you want to start messing around with that stuff you might pick the (Under-)23s - that's the time to blood people for the sake of it. I don't care how old they are and right now Lucas Neill, if he's fit enough, he's certainly got more experience in the tactical side, let him remain the captain… If the Socceroos are playing the captain should be the first to be there and Lucas is."
Rangers midfielder Ian Black has been called into Scotland's squad to face Australia on Wednesday in Edinburgh, despite manager Craig Levein indicating he would be reluctant to include players from the club due to their new lowly league standing. Rangers' financial woes have seen them relegated to the Scottish Third Division, with Black joining the club after departing Premier League outfit Hearts at the end of the 2011-12 season. But despite Levein declaring at the naming of his initial squad that it would be "very difficult for anyone playing in the Third Division in Scotland to be up to the speed of an international match", the withdrawal of James Forrest, Jamie Mackie, Phil Bardsley and Graham Dorrans has prompted the drafting in of Black and Leeds United forward Ross McCormack.
Brisbane Roar have cruised through their second pre-season friendly, thumping an Ipswich invitational XI 5-1 on Sunday. The annual fixture was decided by a brace from Besart Berisha and single strikers to Anthony Proia, Henrique and George Lambadaridis, with Matty Taylor getting the hosts' consolation at North Ipswich Reserve. Close to 2,500 supporters turned up to take in the action, with Roar general manager Sean Dobson talking up the match's worth on several levels. "From both a football and community engagement perspective, today was excellent," Dobson said. "The fans were treated to a top-notch display of football while having the opportunity to meet the players, pose for photos and collect autographs before the game."
Football Federation Australiahave announced their referees for the 2012-13 A-League and W-League seasons, based on its new selection criteria. Titled the Possibles and Probables Candidate program, the initiative is aimed at widening the scope of for identification of talented referees. "We have been working to ensure referees skills are in line with the games professional development in this country," FFA director of referees Mark Shield said. "This process started a full six months before the season's kick off to ensure that our referees are given the best opportunity to perform at their optimum when the season commences. A-League referees: C Beath, S Delovski, S Evans, J Gillett, M Gillett, P Green, K Griffith Jones, A Kersey, B Haywood, L Laverdure, T McGilchrist, A Milliner, P O'Leary, R Queffelec, B Williams. W-League referees: L Corey, R Durcau, K Gardner, C Hoffman, K Jacewicz, A Logue, J Melksham, P McCallum, K Patterson, C Reibelt, R Silverster.