Holger Osieck and his coaching staff will spend extra time in Europe to scout the new generation of Qantas Socceroos.
The opportunity exists for players outside the current national team set up to force their way into selection calculations, according to Qantas Socceroos boss Holger Osieck.
Osieck named a squad of 20 players for next weeks friendly against Scotland at Edinburgh's Easter Road Stadium.
Immediately following the Scotland clash, Osieck and his coaching staff will commence a Europe-wide scouting mission to identify and meet with players capable of contributing to Australia's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification quest.
Presently, there are several hundred Australians plying their trade across a wide range of countries across the globe, all of which Osieck has challenged to prove their value to the Qantas Socceroos in the coming months and years.
“We keep monitoring how (Australian players abroad) they-re doing with their clubs, what playing time they get and what their performance level is,” said Osieck.
“Now, we-ll take the opportunity to visit them, the clubs, to have a talk and just to give them a signal again that they are not out of the loop, they are not out of the world, they are still on our list.
“It-s the only thing we can do and right now, it-s a great opportunity to stay in Europe and to do the scouting.
“We have all of our staff coaches here, Aurelio Vidmar, Robbie Hooker and Tony Franken, myself, so it I think it-s a good opportunity to have a look at those boys.”
A handful of Australians have been on the move during the European off-season and Asian mid-season, headlined most recently by Tim Cahill's move to the Major League Soccer in the United States.
The Qatari Stars League has had an influx of Australians join, with Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa), Sasa Ognenovski (Umm Salal) and Matthew Spiranovic (Al Arabi) all linking with new clubs.
Additionally, emerging talents Mustafa Amini (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Eli Babalj (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia) and Curtis Good (Newcastle United, England) have made their way from the Hyundai A-League to heavyweight European clubs, while the Australian influence in the K-League has shown no signs of abating with Brendan Hamill (Seongnam Ilhwa) and Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Motors) the latest to land in Korea.
“Obviously, it (Qatar) looks to be the new El Dorado for Aussie players,” joked Osieck.
“I congratulate everybody who gets the opportunity to go to decent clubs in Europe, to play there and to develop into the game.
“That-s going to be very positive for their personal development and of course for the national team as well.
“We-ll see how well they take their chance.”
While many Australians have found new homes, captain Lucas Neill and lynchpin attacker Harry Kewell are still without clubs.
Osieck isn-t too concerned, however, hinting that his ‘skipper is close to sealing a second deal in the Gulf, while acknowledging the quality Kewell has brought to the national team in recent months.
“In recent games, when Harry had been on board, he always performed well, in particular the last home game against Saudi Arabia, he had a great display,” said Osieck.
“It-s very unfortunate for him that he is right now hanging in between, no club and still waiting for some kind of signing and I hope that will work out pretty quickly.
“I think he has a great potential and, whenever I had him in the group, he was a very positive asset.
“Lucas is in a quite different situation, although he is right now also in between clubs.
“He has been working with teams, with clubs and he is close to re-signing again with one of the middle east teams.”
The Qantas Socceroos are next in action on Wednesday, 15 August, when they take on Scotland in an international friendly at Edinburgh-s Easter Road Stadium. Kick off is at 8pm local time (Kick off is at 5am AEST, Thursday, 16 August).
Australia-s FIFA World Cup qualification journey resumes on Tuesday, 11 September, when the Qantas Socceroos meet the challenge of Jordan in Amman. Kick off is at 7pm local time (2am AEST, Wednesday, 12 September).
The Qantas Socceroos are next in Australia in 2013, starting with a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Oman at Sydney-s Stadium Australia on Tuesday, 26 March. Kick off is at 7.30pm local time.
The Qantas Socceroos return to Stadium Australia on Tuesday, 18 June to continue their FIFA World Cup qualification journey against Iraq. Kick off is at 7.30pm local time.
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