Uncapped trio's rapid rise to Socceroos selection

The Socceroos' road to Qatar is about to reach a pivotal point over the next 10 days with a couple of vital FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers for Graham Arnold's troops.

Anticipation is reaching fever pitch ahead of the clashes against Vietnam and Oman and the excitement has only intensified with the release of Australia's 25-player squad on Friday.

While there is plenty of familiar faces and the return of some experienced stars to boost the Socceroos' hopes, it's the addition of three potential debutants that has really caught the eye.

Sydney FC left-back Joel King, Central Coast Mariners defender Kye Rowles and Melbourne City excitement machine Marco Tilio are three uncapped players looking to make their make on the national team.

We take a look at the three young guns looking to transfer their outstanding A-League Men's form into performing at the highest level in the Green and Gold.

Vietnam Thin Banner Broadcast

Marco Tilio

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the last 18 months to be one of the real x-factors of the A-League Men's with Melbourne City.

Having come through the youth ranks at Sydney FC, managing just a handful of appearances for the Sky Blues first team, Tilio moved south for the 2020/21 Season.

It proved a wise move as he eventually forced his way into Patrick Kisnorbo's plans with a string of eye-catching performances off the bench.

Diminutive in stature, Tilio has the ability to beat defenders with his deft skill, electrifying speed and phenominal work-rate.

It's those traits that saw Tilio become a late call-up to Arnold's squad for last year's Tokyo Olympics, producing one of the highlights of the tournament with his deft long-range stunner that saw the Olyroos shock Argentina 2-0.

He's started the current A-League season in impressive touch too, scoring another screamer in the 3-3 draw with Western Sydney Wanders, impressing Arnold enough to give him a chance to be a dangerous weapon against Vietnam and Oman.

Marco Tilio
Marco Tilio scored a sensational goal for the Olyroos against Argentina at the Olympics

Joel King

It's hard to believe King is still just 21 given the way he has established himself as Sydney FC's first-choice left-back in recent seasons.

King has been a model of consistency for Steve Corica's side, impressing not only with his defensive positioning and ability to snuff out danger, but a willingness to get forward and join the attack at every opportunity.

READ MORE: Experienced and exciting Socceroos squad set for qualifiers in Melbourne & Muscat 

The Figtree-born defender - who was the A-League's Young Player of the Year last season - has featured 62 times for the Sky Blues in the A-League, helping the club to a Championship/Premiership double in the 2019/20 Season.

Like Tilio, King's consistent displays saw him earn a ticket to Tokyo in 2021, starting all three matches for the Olyroos and providing an assist for Lachie Wales' goal in the win over Argentina.

And he’ll hope to take that form into this camp as he vies with Turkish-based Aziz Behich for the left-back position in these crunch qualifiers.

“I’m obviously very excited. This is the first time I’ve been called up. I know a lot of the coaching staff having worked with them for the Olyroos and I think that will help with the transition,” King said on Sydney FC's website.

Joel King
Joel King's excellent performances for Sydney FC has earned his first Socceroos call-up

Kye Rowles

The most senior of the uncapped trio in Arnold's squad, Rowles has cemented himself as one of the A-League's best defenders over the last few seasons.

After coming through the FFA Centre of Excellence in 2015, the tough-tackling centre-back got his first taste of the A-League with Brisbane Roar.

But it was his move to Gosford in 2017 that has proved the catalyst for Rowles' rise, going on to make more than 80 appearances for the Mariners in the last few seasons.

It's his development in the heart of defence that has seen Central Coast become a force once again, with Rowles a key figure in the club's rise back up the A-League ladder and taking out the prestigious Mariners Medal last season.

The 23-year-old is considered a future leader of the club and wore the skipper's armband in a recent FFA Cup tie, with Rowles' impressive performances in defence helping the Mariners reach this year's FFA Cup Final for the first time.

“I am super happy to be given the opportunity, and I am really looking forward to the experience," Rowles told the Mariners' website.

"It is a massive honour to represent your country and I am humbled to be involved in the Australian set up once again."

Kye Rowles Header
Kye Rowles has been a model of consistency in recent seasons

READ MORE: Squad Announcement Talking Points - From Olyroos to Socceroos 

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar (Final Round)

Matchday 7: Australia v Vietnam
Date: Thursday, 27 January 2022
Venue: Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne, Australia 
Kick-off: 8:10pm AEDT
Tickets: Limited tickets remaining via Ticketek  
Broadcast: Live and free in Australia on 10 Bold and simulcast on 10 Play

Matchday 8: Oman v Australia
Date: Tuesday, 1 February 2022
Venue: Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat, Oman
Kick-off: 8pm (local); 3am AEDT – Wednesday, 2 February 2022
Broadcast: Live and free in Australia on Network 10 and simulcast on 10 Play