Aussies Abroad Preview: Irvine, Metcalfe & King kick off new campaigns

Jackson Irvine, Connor Metcalfe and Joel King’s season openers headline this weekend's action while Maty Ryan and Denis Genreau could face off in a pre-season friendly. 

Irvine and Metcalfe will both be in action for St. Pauli in 2. Bundesliga action, as they look to return to the German top flight for the first time in 11 years after narrowly falling short last time out.

Joel King will also begin his campaign in the Danish Superliga with Odense Boldklub, while pre-season continues across Europe and the United Kingdom. 

Check out our preview of all the upcoming Aussies Abroad action. 

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Starting in Germany, where Jackson Irvine and Connor Metcalfe will be hoping to be involved in St. Pauli’s Bundesliga 2 season opener against FC Nürnberg on Saturday at 9pm (AEST). 

St. Pauli enter the match having lost two and won one of their pre-season friendlies. Pauli look to return to the top flight for the first time since relegation at the end of the Bundesliga's 2010/11 edition.

While last season showed glimpses of their quality and potential, St. Pauli suffered a difficult back end of the season as they slumped into fifth place after topping the league at the winter break.

They will have to make do without last year's top scorer Guido Burgstaller, but they have recruited well in key areas including the arrival of Metcalfe from Melbourne City. 

It is the 22-year-old’s first season in Europe as he looks to acclimatise quickly and take his game to another level. 

In Demark, Joel King will also kick off his Danish Superliga campaign when Odense Boldklub host FC Nordsjælland on Tuesday at 3am (AEST). 

King will be looking to build on the 11 appearances he made since joining from Sydney FC in January. 

Elsewhere in Germany, Ajdin Hrustic’s Eintracht Frankfurt continue their pre-season with a friendly against Torino on Saturday at 1am (AEST). 

In Spain, Maty Ryan’s Real Sociedad team will play their first pre-season match-up against Denis Genreau’s newly-promoted Toulouse FC on Sunday at 3am (AEST) in San Sebastian. 

Awer Mabil and Cádiz CF will also be in action in their first pre-season friendly against Barbate CF at 3:30am (AEST). 

In Belgium, Jason Davidson and James Jeggo will be hoping to get their first pre-season minutes when K.A.S. Eupen play Ajax on Friday at 11:30pm (AEST). 

Over to the Netherlands, where Danny Vukovic will also be hoping to get his first pre-season minutes of the summer when NEC Nijmegen host FC Bocholt on Saturday at 10pm (AEST). 

In Italy, Fran Karacic will also be in action when Brescia Calcio host Sampdoria in a pre-season friendly on Sunday at 2am (AEST). 

In Olyroos abroad news, Jordan Courtney-Perkins will be aiming to be involved in Raków Częstochowa’s first match of the Polish Ekstraklasa season against Warta Poznań at 2am (AEST) on Saturday. 

The Danish Superliga season also kicks off with FC Midtjylland hosting Randers on Saturday at 3am (AEST) but it remains to be seen whether Hosine Bility will be involved having recently returned from loan in Iceland. 

Josh Rawlins came of the bench in the 60th minute as FC Utrecht lost 4-2 to a Club Brugge side featuring former Socceroo Paul Okon as their assistant. 

FC Utrecht are next in action when they travel to Trent Sainsbury’s former club K.V. Kortrijk on Sunday at 12am (AEST) in another pre-season friendly. 

Alou Kuol will be hoping to see more pre-season action for VfB Stuttgart when they host Brentford on Saturday at 11:30pm (AEST) after being involved in the previous two friendlies. 

United Kingdom

Starting in England, where Bailey Wright will be hoping to get his first pre-season minutes when Sunderland take on Dundee United on Sunday at 12am (AEST). 

Having lost 2-0 to Roma on Wednesday, The Black Cats will be looking to bounce back and get more minutes in the legs against Dundee. 

Riley McGree and his Middlesbrough side have arrived in Portugal ahead of their friendly against Portuguese Primeira Liga side SC Braga on Saturday at 4am (AEST) in Lagos.

On Sunday at 12am (AEST), Kenny Dougall’s Blackpool will also host Europa League finalists Rangers in a pre-season friendly.

In injury news, Harry Souttar is being eased back into training at Stoke City this summer as he gets back from an anterior cruciate ligament injury picked up with the Socceroos in November.

In Olyroos abroad news, Nicholas Bilokapic lined up in goal for the second half of Huddersfield Town’s 3-1 win over League One side Morecambe on Wednesday while Jacob Chapman earned a place on the bench. 

Huddersfield's second pre-season friendly is on Saturday at 9pm (AEST) when they take on Harrogate Town. 

Jay Rich-Baghuelou started and played 53 minutes in Accrington Stanley’s 2-0 win over Stoke City on Thursday, helping set up his side's opening goal. 

Rich-Baghuelou will be in action again on Sunday at 12am as Accrington host Preston while Ashley Maynard-Brewer and Gillingham take on Portsmouth on Sunday at 12am (AEST).

Tyrese Francois will be hoping to be involved in Fulham’s first pre-season friendly against Nice on Sunday at 5:15am (AEST). 

In other pre-season news, Lachlan Brook has rejoined Brentford B after his loan spell at Adelaide United ended. His side are next in action on Sunday at 12am (AEST) when they take on Maidenhead United at York Road. 

In Scotland, Nathaniel Atkinson played 85 minutes for Heart of Midlothian as they recorded a 2-1 victory over Tranmere in pre-season.

Hearts continue their pre-season on Saturday at 10pm (AEST) when they host Crawley Town. 

Elsewhere in Scotland, Lewis Miller made his first competitive start for the Hibernian, after coming off the bench at the weekend. The 21-year-old played the first 45 minutes as Hibs lost 1-0 to Falkirk in Group D of the Premier Sports Cup.


Cerezo Osaka and Adam Taggart will be looking to return to winning ways and climb from sixth position on the J1 League table when Cerezo travel to Gamba Osaka on Saturday at 8pm (AEST). 

Fresh from scoring against Kevin Muscat’s Yokohama in his last J1 League match, Taggart started in Cerezo’s Emperor Cup match on Wednesday night. 

The 29-year-old played 46 minutes as Cerezo went on to snatch a last-minute victory and progress to the next round with a 2-1 over Mitch Langerak’s Nagoya Grampus. 

Elsewhere in Japan, Mitch Duke and his Fagiano Okayama side will also be aiming to get back in the winner's circle when they host Tochigi SC on Sunday at 7pm (AEST) in the J2 League. 

The United States

Finishing with Major League Soccer, where Milos Degenek will be hoping to shake off a knock that has kept him out of the last two matches when Columbus Crew host Cincinnati on Monday at 9:30am (AEST).