James Holland has quit Dutch Eredivisie leaders AZ Alkmaar, signing an 18-month deal with Austria Vienna in search of regular first-team football to boost his Qantas Socceroos credentials.
James Holland has quit Dutch Eredivisie leaders AZ Alkmaar, signing an 18-month deal with Austria Vienna in search of regular first-team football to boost his Qntas Socceroos credentials.
Holland has played five times for the Socceroos, but he was cut from the FIFA World Cup South Africa squad and last featured in the friendly loss to Slovenia under Han Berger.
He has not featured under Holger Osieck, his lack of first-team football hurting his claims, and he has moved to Austria after impressing on trial in Vienna.
"He is physically capable, understands the game and the technical pre-requisites for his position," FourFourTwo quoted Austria Vienna board member Thomas Parits as saying.
"He is a real gain for us."
Australian defender Shane Lowry, meanwhile, endured a terrible week in the nPower Championship, sent off as Millwall suffered a 6-0 humiliation against Birmingham City.
Lowry, who has pledged his allegiance to the Socceroos despite having played youth internationals for Republic of Ireland, was dismissed in the 22nd minute of the game after an off-the-ball incident with City's Serbian striker, Nikola Zigic.
Millwall trailed by just one goal at the time, and Lions manager Kenny Jacket wasn-t impressed with the referee's decision to dismiss his Aston Villa loanee.
"Shane's sending off looked a harsh decision to me," Jackett said.
Socceroos Scott McDonald and Rhys Williams, meanwhile, played 90 minutes as Championship promotion candidates Middlesbrough lost 2-0 at home to Burnley.
Socceroos midfielder Carl Valeri enjoyed better fortunes in Italy, playing 90 minutes for Sassuolo in thei 1-0 win against Nocerina in Serie B.
Valeri's Socceroos captain, Lucas Neill, and former international teammate Marco Bresciano, meanwhile, each played 90 minutes for their respective clubs, Al Jazira and Al Nasr, in the United Arab Emirates.
And former Socceroos striker Nathan Burns, who has been linked in Rumour Mill with a move back to A-League club Adelaide United, played 11 minutes as a substitute for AEK Athens in their 1-1 draw at home to Xanthi.