Arnold names 22-man training squad
Football Federation Australia has named 22 players for a three-day training camp in Melbourne next week as preparations step-up ahead of Australia's first 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualifier on home soil. Their first match since the 2006 FIFA World Cup will see the Socceroos host Kuwait on 16 August at Sydney's Aussie Stadium.
Football Federation Australia has named 22 players for a three-day training camp in Melbourne next week as preparations step-up ahead of Australia's first 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualifier on home soil.
Their first match since the 2006 FIFA World Cup will see the Socceroos host Kuwait on 16 August at Sydney's Aussie Stadium.
Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold, who is currently in England, has picked 22 players from the Hyundai A-League to take part in the camp with many of those expected to form the nucleus of the squad that will take on Kuwait.
"We have picked a blend of talented young players and some experienced players that will help the youth develop," said Arnold.
"This training camp is a huge opportunity for these players to state a case to be included in the match against Kuwait and perhaps then claim a spot ahead of next year's Asian Cup."
"The camp will be important preparation as many of these players would not have played together."
"We can't afford to take Kuwait lightly. I've studied videos of them them in action, spoken to other coaches about them and they are a well organised team."
At the completion of the camp Arnold will name the 18-man squad to take on Kuwait with the likelihood there will not be many players returning from Europe for the match.
"It's a very difficult situation with the AFC's decision that the match will be played on a Wednesday. It does not take into account the situation of nations like Australia who have key players employed in Europe," said FFA Head of High Performance John Boultbee.
"It means that players would have to fly out of Europe after completing weekend club commitments and recovery for their employees (the clubs) on the Monday and would not arrive in Australia until the day of the match which would not give them any preparation time at all."
Every Australian Hyundai A-League club contributes at least one player with reigning champions Sydney FC producing eight selections. The training camp squad features Stan Lazaridis, Mark Milligan and Archie Thompson who were part of the FIFA World Cup team.
Kevin Muscat returns to to the national team squad for the first time since 2005 while Joel Griffiths the recent signing by Newcastle Jets will also be available after returning to Australia after a spell at Leeds United.
Socceroos TRAINING SQUAD - MELBOURNE 7-10 AUGUST
Clint Bolton (Sydney FC), Mark Bridge (Newcastle Jets), Alex Brosque (Sydney FC), David Carney (Sydney FC), Steve Corica (Sydney FC), Alvin Ceccoli (Sydney FC), Spase Dilevski (Queensland Roar), Travis Dodd (Adelaide United), Joel Griffiths (Newcastle Jets), Iain Fyfe (Sydney FC), Stan Lazaridis (Perth Glory), Adrian Leijer (Melbourne Victory), Matthew McKay (Queensland Roar), Mark Milligan (Sydney FC), Kevin Muscat (Melbourne Victory), Stuart Musialik (Newcastle Jets), Jade North (Newcastle Jets), Sasho Petrovski (Sydney FC), Kristian Sarkies (Melbourne Victory), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Michael Valkanis (Adelaide United), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners)