Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold has included six debutants in his experimental Australia squad to face South Korea in next month’s international friendly.
A-League trio Andrew Redmayne, Brandon O’Neill and Lawrence Thomas, England-based pair Harry Souttar and Ryan Williams and Freiburg forward Brandon Borrello are in line to earn their first caps in Busan on June 7.
Arnold has rested Australia’s big names for the trip to South Korea, with the Socceroos set to play for the first time since their AFC Asian Cup quarter-final exit in January.
The 24-man squad includes 11 A-League-based players, including Matthew Spiranovic, Craig Goodwin and Dimitri Petratos, while former Liverpool left-back Brad Smith – on loan at Seattle Sounders from Bournemouth – returns to the national fold for the first time since October 2017.
Ryan Williams and brother Rhys are the first siblings to be named in the same Socceroos squad since Adam and Joel Griffiths in May 2008.
“Our World Cup qualification campaign preparations start now,” Arnold said. “The upcoming camp and friendly international in Korea Republic provides us the opportunity to expose more players to international football, which is vital as we prepare for a long qualification campaign.
“We have seen how arduous the previous World Cup path was for our squad and it is imperative that we spend this valuable time together to have a close look and some of our next generation.
“We have eleven players in this squad who have all had excellent seasons in the domestic competition and my message to those playing in the Hyundai A-League is that if you are playing regularly and consistently for your club, you will come into consideration for the next phase of World Cup qualifiers.
“This international window also gives me the chance to spend an extended time with some of our more experienced players who have recently been missing from international football, but have been playing well for their respective clubs like Matthew Spiranovic, Rhys Williams, Adam Taggart, Bailey Wright, Josh Brillante and Brad Smith.”
Australia: Mitch Langerak (Nagoya Grampus), Andrew Redmayne (Sydney FC), Lawrence Thomas (Melbourne Victory); Thomas Deng (Melbourne Victory), Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC), Matthew Jurman (Al-Ittihad), Brad Smith (Seattle Sounders), Harry Souttar (Stoke City), Matthew Spiranovic (Perth Glory), Rhys Williams (Al-Qadsiah), Bailey Wright (Bristol City); Mustafa Amini (Aarhus), Terry Antonis (Melbourne Victory), Josh Brillante (Sydney FC), James Jeggo (Austria Vienna), Brandon O’Neill (Sydney FC), Ryan Williams (Rotherham United); Brandon Borrello (Freiburg), Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United), Chris Ikonomidis (Perth Glory), Awer Mabil (Midtjylland), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Adam Taggart (Suwon Bluewings).