Goalkeeper is a position the Qantas Socceroos have plenty of depth in, and with Mark Schwarzer just returned from injury the opportunity might be there for another keeper to impress against Saudi Arabia.
The Qantas Socceroos are soon to take on Saudi Arabia in a FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifying group match on 29 February in Melbourne.
As part of our daily countdown to the showdown, today we thought we-d take a look at a position where which we are historically strong and consider who Holger Osieck might select in his squad - that position is goalkeeper.
Australia has always produced top quality goalkeepers with Mark Schwarzer currently the top seed in the Qantas Socceroos pecking order. But there are plenty of other-s looking to take his place between the sticks at AAMI Park. Here are some of the potential contenders for the gig on 29 February:
Mark Schwarzer The incumbent keeper is a hero to many Australian football fans, especially since he saved repeatedly in that famed penalty shootout against Uruguay at ANZ Stadium in 2005.
Since then Schwarzer has continued to prove himself an excellent custodian at two FIFA World Cups and has the most A-international caps of any Socceroo.
Usually rock-solid for Fulham in the English Premier League, Schwarzer is regarded as not only a ‘safe- keeper but an excellent reflex shot-stopper.
The big ‘if- is if Schwarzer would feel comfortable making the long flight from England so soon after a major injury.
Having just returned to the Cottagers line-up after suffering a neck injury, he might not be in the best position to make the trip home, but his passion would certainly see him here.
Adam Federici The Reading keeper was Pim Verbeek-s number two choice behind Schwarzer for the previous FIFA World Cup and since then he has continued to impress for Reading in The Championship.
Federici has kept 11 clean sheets in 28 matches thus far and his side have let in the second fewest goals in the competition as they strive to make their way back to the top flight. Bottom line - Federici is in form.
Nathan Coe The Sønderjysk Elitesport-s keeper is far from short of football and has been playing regularly in the Danish Superliga, which is more than can be said for many of his rivals.
His big body and skill in the air are the trademarks of his game. And with three caps to his name, Coe is definitely in the frame for a call-up from Osieck and shouldn-t be written off.
Mitch Langerak Langerak might just be a sentimental favourite of Osieck after receiving his first call-up to the national squad in March 2011 as a back-up for Mark Schwarzer, when the Qantas Socceroos took on Germany.
Though he didn-t make his debut on that occasion it might just be a matter of time before he makes his Qantas Socceroos debut and at the young age of 23 and with a Borussia Dortmund contract he appears to have a big future in front of him.
Ante Covic Having already represented Australia on two occasions throughout his career there is an argument that Covic could do so again against Saudi Arabia.
A member of the 2006 FIFA World Cup squad, Covic is arguably in the form of his career and despite the fact the underperforming Victory have let in plenty, Covic has made a Hyundai A-League topping 88 saves this season, many of those have been right out of the top drawer.
Eugene Galekovic The Adelaide United custodian is right up there with Covic when it comes to saves made in this Hyundai A-League season with 79, but his side has also leaked the most goals in the Hyundai A-League (35).
Galekovic has represented the Qantas Socceroos on four occasions and was a member of the2010 FIFA World Cup squad.
Clint Bolton If it-s experience that Osieck is looking for then there is little doubt Bolton could be his man. The current Melbourne Heart shot-stopper is regarded as just that, a great shot-stopper who is comfortable in the air.
Having said that, Bolton has not represented his country since 2006, and the need to blood players of the future may count against him.
Michael Theoklitos The reigning and three-time Hyundai A-League Goalkeeper of the Year is as acrobatic as they come and an all-round solid goalkeeper.
Acrobatics aside he doesn-t always look that exciting but what he does do is provide a good passing game and command his box in a dominant manner.
If performance over a long period of time is a way to get selected then Theoklitos could find himself making his debut for his country
Mat Ryan The Central Coast Mariners keeper is already the current Qantas Australian Under 23s keeper.
After being named the NAB Young player of the Year last season and receiving the Joe Marston Medal as player of the Hyundai A-League 2011 Grand Final, this season Ryan has lived up to the hype and through some stellar performances has helped the Mariners to a ten-point buffer at the top of the Hyundai A-League table.
He may be young but he is the form keeper of the Hyundai A-League and cannot be ruled out of a Qantas Socceroos call-up.
Of course these are just some of the contenders for the role of Qantas Socceroos goalkeeper. Have we missed anyone? Who would you select in your Qantas Socceroos squad?
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