Osieck mixes old heads with new faces

Mark Bresciano returns to the Socceroos fold.
Mark Bresciano returns to the Socceroos fold. Getty Images Sport - Robert Cianflone

SOCCEROOS coach Holger Osieck has implemented an 'old and new' battle plan after announcing his squad for the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia at AAMI park in Melbourne.

Osieck's 19-man list blends a mixture of experienced campaigners, recalling the likes of Harry Kewell and Mark Bresciano, with several debutants - Erik Paartalu, Matt Ryan and Michael Marrone all handed their first national caps.

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A strong international base with a spice of A-League flavour, Osieck expects his players - both old and new - to adapt and evolve to his masterplan.

"This match is as important as any match we play to further build on what we have achieved so far," said Osieck.

"Each match we play is a chance for players to prove themselves and their position in the squad."

Members of Australia's last two World Cup campaigns, Kewell and Bresciano return to the Socceroos fold after missing recent selections.

Melbourne Victory's Kewell last featured for the Socceroos in last year's loss to Oman, but seven goals in this season's A-League sees the return of the former Liverpool striker.

Bresciano's absence has been much longer, not appearing for his nation since the 2010 World Cup, but a resurgence at United Arab Emirates club Al Nasr has handed the former Lazio midfielder a life-line.

"There is a good mix of experience who have been around for a while," Osieck said.

"I expect a lot from them."

A-League regulars Paartalu, Ryan and Marrone enter their first national camp and will be kept under close scrutiny by the Socceroos head coach.

However, the German refused to speculate whether or not the latest Socceroos will see any action on game day.

"The players included from the A-League will get a closer look throughout the camp and I will make up my mind if I play them from our sessions," Osieck said.

Socceroos squad for the World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia:


Topics:  harry kewell, holger osieck, socceroos

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