Arnold: 'This is an opportunity to create some depth'

Caltex Socceroos boss Graham Arnold fronted the media on Thursday afternoon to announce his squad to take on Korea Republic in next month's international friendly.

Here's what Arnold said on creating opportunities for depth, resting his 'core group' of experienced players, and his thoughts on some of the potential debutants in his squad. 

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WORLD CUP 2022: Korea offer test run before qualifying begins


On creating squad depth...

"There’s players that have performed great for this country over a number of years and I know what they can do. This is an opportunity to create some depth going into a World Cup qualification cycle campaign, which has shown in the past that it’s tough.

"To give players who have performed well in the A-League this year an opportunity to come back and show me what they can give is the whole reason this game has been put on."

On resting his core group of players...

“I spoke to all of the players who missed out, the ones who have played consistently for the country.

"[The core group] have done a lot of travelling. They’re fatigued – I can see it. Fifty per cent of the World Cup squad has received injuries and been out for longer than six weeks each player. That tells its own story – they’ve done a lot of work.

"This is the only time in this period that they can have a good holiday and get themselves ready for what’s in front of them. To be honest, all of them were relieved to get a holiday, and I expect them to be ready for September, ready to go.”

Mooy
Huddersfield Town midfielder Aaron Mooy is among the 'core group' rested for the friendly against Korea Republic

On the uncapped Brandon Borrello...

"He can play anywhere across the front-line. It'll be great to see him again and see how far he's developed since he's been at Freiburg. I expect great things from him."

On the uncapped Andrew Redmayne…

"I’ve always liked Redmayne as a goalkeeper. He’s always had the height and the reach, it was always about him believing in himself.

"He’s got a goalkeeper coach in John Crawley who is like a father figure to him and knows how to get the best out of him.

"Redders has had a fantastic season and is one of the form goalkeepers of the A-League."

Redmayne
Andrew Redmayne was the Hyundai A-League 2019 Grand Final hero for Sydney FC last Sunday

On Seattle Sounders' versatile left-sided player Brad Smith…

"He’s an exciting player. He’s a player who can get up and down, he’s got a great left foot on him and he’s playing weekly in the MLS. I don’t know him personally, but this gives me the opportunity to work with him."

On the uncapped Brandon O’Neill...

"He’s had a fantastic week but a fantastic season. He’s shown in the A-League he’s been one of the form defensive midfielders."

O'Neill
'One of the form defensive midfielders' in the Hyundai A-League

On Stoke City's Harry Souttar, the ‘baby of the squad’…

"He’s a big baby as well at one metre 98. That’s the benefit of me working with the Olympic team as well. I can get to know the characters of the players. He’s chosen to play for Australia and Harry is a very mature 20-year-old.

"He did well for us in Cambodia and my expectations are that he will handle this level as well."

On the departure of Caltex Socceroos star Mark Milligan from Scottish Premier League club Hibernian...

"He’s got the intention at this moment to stay overseas, to work hard and try and find another club. We spoke about him missing this game and he understood clearly why."

Milligan
Mark Milligan played his final game for Scottish Premiership club Hibernian on the weekend

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