Youth injection for new Socceroos squad
Australia's next generation of talent have been included along established stars including Tim Cahill, Mark Schwarzer and Lucas Neill for the Socceroos' friendly against Slovenia on August 11.
Interim coach Han Berger, Australia's Dutch technical director, selected up-and-coming Europe-based players Bruce Djite, Nathan Burns, Tommy Oar, Shane Lowry and James Holland among his 20-man squad for the first Socceroos game since their World Cup exit in June.
There are 13 members of the World Cup squad while Holland, Lowry Oar and defender Jade North were part of a preliminary selection who did not make departed coach Pim Verbeek's final cut. The new faces are former Adelaide United attacking pair Djite and Burns plus Jon McKain, the former Wellington Phoenix centre back who is now based with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr, not far from the host nation of January's Asian Cup, Qatar.
The match will used as preparation for the Asian Cup with a view to the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Berger clearly wanted to bring a fresh group of players together for the match in Slovenia's new national stadium, Športni Park Stožice in Ljubljana, while maintaining a core of experienced players to guide the newcomers.
Meanwhile, Berger said the FFA are at an "advanced stage" in their hunt for a permanent replacement for Verbeek.
Australia squad: Nathan Burns, Tim Cahill, David Carney, Bruce Djite, Adam Federici, Richard Garcia, James Holland, Brett Holman, Mile Jedinak, Shane Lowry, Mark Milligan, Jon McKain, Lucas Neill, Jade North, Thomas Oar, Nikita Rukavytsya, Mark Schwarzer, Carl Valeri, Dario Vidosic, Luke Wilkshire