Aussies Abroad: Play Off Final looms for Dougall before joining camp

Kenny Dougall's Blackpool will be hoping to sign off on their season in style as they prepare to go head to head against Lincoln in the English League One playoff final on Monday morning (AEST).

Dougall will be involved in a mammoth clash this weekend before joining the Socceroos camp while there will be an Aussie battle in the J League as Mitch Langerak and Thomas Deng go head to head.

All that, and more, is covered in our latest Aussies Abroad preview.

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Dougall could cap off one of the best weeks in his career if his Blackpool secure promotion to the Championship on Sunday.

A stellar back-end of the season saw his side skyrocket up the ladder – finishing in third ahead of the playoff series.

They overcame Oxford United 6-3 on aggregate with the Aussie midfielder getting on the scoresheet in the return leg at Bloomfield Road.

A victory over Lincoln at Wembley this weekend would signal the end of a six-year absence from the Championship with their last appearance in English’s second tier coming in the 2014/15 campaign.

Speaking to Blackpool FC, Dougall previewed the high-stakes final ahead. 

“It’s a chance to play at Wembley, and our goal is to be successful at Wembley," he said. "The only disappointment is that only 10,000 fans are allowed inside, so it won’t be a normal Wembley experience, but that’s better than last season’s play-offs when there were no fans.

“It’s a play-off final, so obviously it’ll be tough. We’ve not beaten Lincoln this season and it’s up to us to change that. We’ve been in winning positions in both those games and to draw and lose them has been frustrating. We know the quality we have in the squad if we show up." 

The 28-year-old also spoke of his excitement to be jetting off to the Middle East to link up with the Socceroos, where he will have the opportunity to make his first international appearance during four FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in early June. 

“To get called up for the national team is special,” he said. “I’ve got a chance to win a cap. I’m still uncapped, but I’ve been called up a few times. Hopefully I can get on the pitch and earn a cap because that will be special.

“We haven’t had a game as a national team for 18 months so it will be great for all the boys selected to finally put on the shirt and represent the country again.”

READ: Ultimate Guide: Get to know your 31-man Socceroos squad

MORE: 'They thought I made a mistake': Ruon Tongyik's heartwarming reaction to first Socceroos call-up


Moving to Japan, Thomas Deng’s Urawa Red Diamonds are set to come up against Mitch Langerak's Nagoya Grampus on Sunday night.

Langerak’s side enter this fixture on the back of a shock 1-0 defeat against Vegalta Sendai while a late equaliser saw Urawa share the points with Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

Deng has been an unused substitute during his side’s last two fixtures as he returns from a long-term injury.

READ: 'It feels like yesterday': James Holland relishing Socceroos return

WATCH: Extended Interview - Maty Ryan previews the Socceroos' return 

Meanwhile, Adam Taggart will be lining up for Cerezo Osaka when they meet Vegalta Sendai on Sunday afternoon.

The Socceroos striker played the second half for Osaka as they went down 1-0 to Kashima in their midweek encounter.

He will be hoping to end his time with Cerezo on a high note before he jets off to join up with the Socceroos.

In the United States, Brad Smith will be featuring for Seattle Sounders as they face off against Austin FC on Monday at 11:30am (AEST).

This will be the Sounders’ first meeting with the MLS newcomers who sit third from bottom in the Western Conference.

Smith will also be making the trip to the Middle East to join the Socceroos camp following Monday’s match.

FULL SQUAD: The 31 players bound for Kuwait as Socceroos seek to seal top spot in Group B

SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT TALKING POINTS: Potential debuts and returning stars