Van Marwijk flags big opportunity for Caltex Socceroos newcomer

Uncapped 22-year-old Aleksandar Susnjar will get the chance to impress in the Caltex Socceroos' upcoming friendlies as Bert van Marwijk assesses his defensive options.

Van Marwijk named the Mlada Boleslav man as one of three new faces in a 26-man squad for the matches against Norway and Colombia later this month.

READ: Bert van Marwijk settles on 26 players for March friendlies

Susnjar was recommended by assistant coach Ante Milicic after impressing at the AFC U-23 Championship earlier this year.

And the Perth product could win his maiden senior cap with national team regulars Trent Sainsbury and Matt Jurman expected to be kept in cotton wool.

"We have a few injuries in those positions so this is the right time to nominate him [Susnjar]," Van Marwijk told reporters on Thursday morning.

"The players I'm concerned about are Sainsbury and Jurman, they are two important players.

"All players are important but in central-defence we don't have too many possibilities and that's why I nominated these two players."

Sainsbury is yet to feature for new club Grasshopper Zurich as he regains full fitness following groin surgery, while Jurman is undergoing rehabilitation from a knee operation.

Despite their respective concerns, Van Marwijk had no hesitation over naming the pair in his inaugural squad.

"While I know they're not ready to train 100 per cent with the group, they both can do parts of training and it's also important that I get to know and learn about them," he said.

"They get a signal from me and I hope that they will be fit within a few weeks.

"I don't think Sainsbury will play because we have to be very careful. That's the reason I invited 26 players."

READ: Caltex Socceroos' upcoming friendlies: your ultimate guide