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Thursday, October 11, 2012
Young Socceroos ready to stand up to Iraq

Holger Osieck has asked for more from his seasoned campaigners, but it is the Socceroos' young guns who are ready to step up against Iraq in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier.

When announcing his squad to face Iraq, coach Osieck said he expected his senior players to provide guidance for the group in the lead up to, and throughout, Tuesday's crucial fixture.

However, with a handful of in-form emerging talents joining the likes of Lucas Neill, Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer in Doha, Osieck could be tempted to turn to Australia's generation next for inspiration.

In the likes of James Holland (23), Ryan McGowan (23), Tommy Oar (20) and Adam Sarota (23), Osieck has four relatively untried talents playing regularly in top European leagues to call upon.

"For us it's just important to show the coach, the boss, that we are here and that we are ready," said Holland, a cornerstone contributor with heavyweight Austrian club Austria Vienna.

"We can only do that by training well and showing him that we're confident enough and I suppose we've got to get the runs on the board.

"It's important for us to show that every day on the training field and whether the boss decides to give us a chance or not, that's just up to him and we just have to be ready."

Refreshingly, Holland is just one of many young Australian talents making a noteworthy impression abroad of late.

Robbie Kruse (24) is a regular in Germany's Bundesliga with Fortuna Dusseldorf, while defender McGowan hasn't missed a game for Hearts in Scotland's Premier League.

In the Netherlands, former Brisbane Roar attacker Oar has worked his way into the starting side at FC Utrecht, where fellow Queenslander Sarota has been starring since the opening day of the season.

"If that happens (game time against Iraq), it would be fantastic but I guess, I've just got to train well here, like I did in Utrecht and, if I do get a chance, hopefully do well," said Sarota.

"I'm not putting too much pressure on myself to come to the Socceroos camp and all of a sudden start playing and this and that, I'd love to, but at the end of the day it's up to Holger and I've got to respect his decision."




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