Premier League Stars Back For Aust Against WalesMelbourne, Aug 2 : - Premier League players Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer have been recalled to the Australia squad for next week's international friendly against Wales. South Korea-based defender Luke DeVere earns his first selection
Melbourne, Aug 2 : - Premier League players Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer have been recalled to the Australia squad for next week's international friendly against Wales.
South Korea-based defender Luke DeVere earns his first selection to a squad under coach Holger Osieck, having been a member of former coach Pim Verbeek's lineup for the Asian Cup qualifier against Indonesia in 2010.
Blackburn midfielder Brett Emerton is poised to become the second most capped Socceroo, behind Fulham keeper Schwarzer, and will equal Alex Tobin's total of 87 international matches if he take the field on Aug. 10 against Wales.The squad named Tuesday includes 14 of the players who participated in friendlies against New Zealand and Serbia in June.
While Australia captain Lucas Neill was selected in the 18-man squad, his former Galatasaray teammate and World Cup veteran Harry Kewell was not. The pair are uncontracted after being released by the Turkish team at the end of last season.
"Lucas is fit and in very good shape, ... and Harry isn't," Osieck said in a conference call. "(Kewell) didn't take part in the two games in June because he wasn't really fit and he had to undergo some kind of treatment," he said. "He hasn't had full training in the meantime, so he definitely isn't in a position to play right now."
Osieck remained hopeful that Kewell would be ready to join the squad in September, in time for the start of Australia's Asian World Cup qualifying campaign. "We all know what kind of value Harry brings to the team, and I'm really hoping he'll be in game shape for the qualifiers."
Osieck said he selected Devere in order to get a better idea of how he works with the Australian squad."It's not enough to get some kind of distant impression," he said. "I need to see him in the group; how he integrates himself with all the other guys, on and off the field."
Lanky Japanese-based striker Josh Kennedy was also omitted from the squad, with Osieck saying he was concerned with the ability of the 6-foot-4 (1.94-meter) player to travel comfortably to Europe and play in the short timeframe allowed.
"He was very eager to come, but considering the very busy schedule in Japan due to the tsunami situation, I decided not to bring him and save it (for qualifying)," he said, adding that Utrecht winger Tommy Oar -- in Colombia for the Under-20 World Cup -- was also expected to join the squad for qualifying.
The friendly will be the first official senior international between Wales, ranked No. 112, and Australia, No. 23. "We need to take this very seriously and not underestimate them," Osieck said. "To get some knocks and bruises in the Wales game will help us to wake up and know what's going on."
Australia squad: Tim Cahill (Everton), Luke DeVere (Gyeongnam), Brett Emerton (Blackburn), Adam Federici (Reading), Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Neil Kilkenny (Bristol City), Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough), Matt McKay (Brisbane), Lucas Neill (uncontracted), Mark Schwarzer (Fulham), Matthew Spiranovic (Urawa Red Diamonds), James Troisi (Kayserispor), Carl Valeri (Sassuolo), Luke Wilkshire (Dynamo Moscow), Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough), Michael Zullo (Utrecht).AP