Socceroos coach throwing more in mix
UNCAPPED international and Sydney FC recruit Bernie Ibini is one of the exciting young players Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou will blood in his 23-man squad to play the United Arab Emirates and Qatar next month.
The Socceroos will face the UAE in Abu Dhabi on October 10.
They will then play Qatar in Doha on October 14, with Postecoglou keen to create more depth in the squad ahead of the 2015 Asian Cup to be held in Australia.
"These two games give us a few more to throw into the mix with an experienced core group of players," Postecoglou said.
"(We will) see how they cope with the training intensity and the demands of international football before we start monitoring them all leading into the Japan match (in Osaka on November 18)."
The squad includes four A-League players, 14 members from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and Ibini (pictured), who is the only uncapped player. The friendlies will clash with the opening round of the A-League 2014-15 season, Postecoglou admitting it was a balancing act between that competition and the needs of the national team.
"We tried to not be too disruptive," he said. "But ultimately this is our national team and everyone agrees this is the highest honour in the game, and we will always pick players deserving of that honour."
Squad: Aziz Behich, Mark Bresciano, Joshua Brillante, Tim Cahill, Jason Davidson, Adam Federici, Ivan Franjic, Chris Herd, James Holland, Bernie Ibini, Mile Jedinak, Tomi Juric, Mitchell Langerak (gk), Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Tommy Oar, Mat Ryan (gk), Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, James Troisi, Alex Wilkinson.