October 5, 2018 / 4:07 AM / 17 days ago

Soccer - Arnold continues search for new Australian talent

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia coach Graham Arnold has continued to cast his eye far and wide as he looks to rebuild his squad for their Asian Cup defence, naming four uncapped players for a training camp in the United Arab Emirates next week.

Australia's national soccer team head coach Graham Arnold walks on the pitch during a team practice session at the 2007 AFC Asian Cup tournament in Bangkok July 12, 2007. Australia plays Iraq in a Group A match on Friday. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom (THAILAND)

Three of the four will also be considered for a place in Arnold’s first match in charge, a friendly against Kuwait on Oct. 15, with Hibernian’s Martin Boyle unavailable as he awaits international clearance to represent Australia.

The former Scotland youth international will be joined at the camp by Melbourne Victory defender Thomas Deng, PEC Zwolle midfielder Denis Genreau and FC Midtjylland forward Awer Mabil as the only players in the squad who have yet to win a cap.

The 25-year-old Boyle is a team mate of Mark Milligan and Jamie Maclaren in the Scottish Premier League, and while he is eligible for the Socceroos through his Australian-born father, he will only attend the training camp.

“We believe we have selected a well-balanced squad to travel to the UAE and on to Kuwait City for our October camp,” Arnold said in a statement on Friday.

“This group will have the opportunity to build upon the standards and principles of play that we established in Antalya (in Turkey), and crucially have the chance to implement the new style that we are working towards in an international match situation when we play Kuwait.”

Arnold’s decision to recall Mathew Leckie and Tom Rogic to the squad for the first time since the 2018 World Cup in Russia, also indicated that he is keen to create as competitive an environment as possible ahead of the Asian Cup in the UAE.

“While some players have missed out on this camp, they, along with many other players globally, remain firmly on our radar as we work towards selecting the best possible squad to help us excel at next year’s AFC Asian Cup,” Arnold added.

The former Sydney FC manager will also be naming a new captain after Mile Jedinak retired from international duty earlier this week. [nL4N1WH2O6]

The Socceroos also face South Korea in Brisbane on Nov. 17 and Lebanon in Sydney on Nov. 20 as part of their build-up to the Asian Cup, which runs from Jan. 5-Feb. 1.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Brad Jones, Mitchell Langerak, Mathew Ryan, Danny Vukovic.

Defenders: Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Thomas Deng, Alex Gersbach, Mathew Jurman, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury.

Midfielders: Mustafa Amini, Denis Genreau, Jackson Irvine, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic.

Forwards: Daniel Arzani, Martin Boyle, Apostolos Giannou, Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Awer Mabil.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by John O'Brien

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