Shinji Kagawa of Japan is challenged by Jade North of Australia during the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier match between the Australian Socceroos and Japan at Suncorp Stadium on June 12, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia.
Shinji Kagawa of Japan is challenged by Jade North of Australia during the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier match between the Australian Socceroos and Japan at Suncorp Stadium on June 12, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia. Robert Cianflone / Getty Images

North's preparation points to probable win for Socceroos

BRISBANE Roar and Socceroos defender Jade North is fit and ready to go ahead of the March 26 World Cup qualifier against Oman in Sydney, last year's exhaustion a distant memory.

In June he had a J-League game for Sapporo on Saturday, flew straight to Denmark for an international friendly, the following day flew to Oman for a World Cup qualifier, and the next day flew to Brisbane for a game against Japan.

Now fully fit and in-form, North said he would line up at right back or in central defence against Oman, part of a back four missing his Roar teammate Matt Smith through injury.

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck yesterday lamented the absence of Smith, but backed Dino Djulbic, Michael Thwaite and Mark Milligan, if needed, to cover for the Brisbane captain.

Keeper Mark Schwarzer will captain the team in place of the suspended Lucas Neill.

The game is a must win for the Aussies, who are in equal second spot alongside Iraq and Jordan.

Socceroos squad

  • Mark Bresciano
  • Alex Brosque
  • Tim Cahill
  • Robert Cornthwaite
  • Dino Djulbic
  • Eugene Galekovic
  • James Holland
  • Brett Holman
  • Mile Jedinak
  • Robbie Kruse
  • Ryan McGowan
  • Matt McKay
  • Mark Milligan
  • Jade North
  • Tommy Oar
  • Tom Rogic
  • Mathew Ryan
  • Mark Schwarzer (capt)
  • Archie Thompson
  • Michael Thwaite
  • Luke Wilkshire
  • Rhys Williams
  • Michael Zullo

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