thumbnail Hello,

We examine the new faces in the national team set-up for the friendly against South American opposition in London

Analysis
By John Greco

While the omission of veteran skipper Lucas Neill has drawn much of the attention, there are three players in Ange Postecoglou's 23-man squad to face Ecuador next month in line to make their Socceroos debut.

Goal Australia takes a look at the trio desperate to make the right first impression and book their spot on the plane to Brazil.

Chris Herd
Age: 24
Club: Aston Villa (England)
Position: Defender/midfielder

Able to play anywhere along the backline and also in midfield, Herd's versatility is a great asset to have in a squad, especially for a tournament like the World Cup. But the West Australian has more than that to his game, which is why Postecoglou likes him so much. Injury has meant his first Socceroos cap hasn't arrived yet but the 24-year-old may soon finally get his chance to impress. He has failed to lock down a permanent spot in the Villa side due to his string of injuries but has made an impact in his fleeting EPL appearances, including a wonder-goal against Liverpool at Anfield two seasons ago.

What Ange said about him: "He's probably the one exception I looked at (despite not playing regularly) as this our last opportunity. He's rated very highly at Aston Villa. He hasn't had a great run with injuries but he's back training now and this gives me an opportunity to incorporate him in the camp. He hasn't really had an opportunity to be in the camp environment. Whether he gets some minutes or not, I think it's a useful exercise, particularly with the game being in Europe, to bring in him and at least have a look at the type of player he is and whether he fits into our philosophy moving forward."

Curtis Good
Age: 20
Club: Dundee United (Scotland, on loan from Newcastle United)
Position: Centre-back

Good's solid performances in the A-League with the Melbourne Heart earned him a dream move to EPL club Newcastle United back in 2012. The 20-year-old has since been loaned out to lower tier clubs Bradford City (where he helped the club to last season's League Cup final at Wembley) and now Scottish side Dundee United. Good has featured in four games (and scored once) since making the switch to Dundee which has him in line for a start against the South Americans next month.

What Ange said about him: "I watched Curtis play with the (Australian) Under-22's in Oman, which was a really important tournament for us, and I thought he was a standout. I had a brief chat to him saying he had to get himself some regular football because I really see him as somebody who can be an outstanding defender for us in the future. The pleasing thing is he has got himself a club, he has played regularly the last two or three weeks with Dundee United and as I said he's one for the future but also one for the present. I'm hoping if I give him some exposure at international level it kind of kick starts his career at domestic level."

Massimo Luongo
Age: 21
Club: Swindon Town (England)
Position: Midfielder

After being overlooked by clubs in Australia, Luongo tried his luck in the UK and was picked up as a teenager by Tottenham. The classy defensive midfielder had loan stints at Ipswich and Swindon before making his deal at the latter permanent in the off-season. Postecoglou is looking for players who have been playing matches and Luongo certainly fits the bill, playing in 40 matches for Swindon this season (and scoring six goals) as the club chases promotion to the English Championship.

What Ange said about him: "He is a highly rated youngster. I spoke to quite a number of people over there including people at Tottenham, including (manager) Tim Sherwood, and they rated him very highly. He was a bit unlucky to not break through there. At Swindon he has become a mainstay even though he's only a young lad. League One is a fairly tough, uncompromising competition and he has held his own. Technically he's a good footballer and he's one that I want to expose to our national team environment and see how he adapts, see whether he fits in. He has shown enough so far to deserve an opportunity and that is what we have given him."

*This article was amended following the withdrawal of Ben Halloran due to injury

Related

From the web