Vukovic set for first Caltex Socceroos cap on birthday
Back-up goalkeepers Brad Jones and Danny Vukovic will both see game-time against Colombia, according to new Caltex Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk.
Established first-choice custodian Mat Ryan started in Australia’s friendly defeat to Norway, but the Brighton shot-stopper will be rested for Wednesday’s fixture in London.
It means both Jones and Vukovic will play 45 minutes each at Craven Cottage, providing an opportunity for van Marwijk to assess the depth of Australia’s goalkeeping stocks.
Should he take the field, Jones, 36, will end a period of four years in the international wilderness having last played for the Socceroos in a friendly loss to Ecuador in 2014.
And it will be a special occasion for Vukovic too, with the Genk keeper set to make his senior debut for the Socceroos on his 33rd birthday.
Speaking at the official pre-game press conference, van Marwijk admitted it was important for him to become more familiar with the playing group ahead of May’s training camp in Europe.
“I know the players for maybe four days now. I said this camp is to get to know each other, that’s the most important point,” van Marwijk said.
“I already said I want to see all three goalkeepers. Mat (Ryan), he played the first game, 90 minutes.
“And now the other two goalkeepers will play here tomorrow - 45 minutes each.”
Van Marwijk also hinted that there is likely to be further changes to the team which lost 4-1 to Norway, with Josh Risdon, Massimo Luongo and Tomi Juric all in contention to start.
"I came here with 26 players, two have gone home [Trent Sainsbury and Matt Jurman], [now] we have 24," van Marwijk said.
"I told the players I cannot promise to let everyone play, this is a camp to see as much as possible. There will be a few changes, I like to see most of the players."
While disappointed with the result against Norway, van Marwijk has been pleased with the players’ response and challenged them to show more initiative against Colombia.
"You have to be disappointed when you lose 4-1," van Marwijk said.
"But we have to go it's not the end of the world. I said a few words and when I look at the team now, I think they are more open.
"The message was also that it's good that you listen to the coaches, but it's good that you have your own initiative because the game can also change, things can go a different way.
"I think they understood it and we worked very well the last few days."
Caltex Socceroos v Colombia
WHEN: Wednesday, March 28 - kick-off 6am AEDT
WHERE: Craven Cottage, London, England
HOW TO WATCH: Live on Fox Sports and Network Ten
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