Olyroos coach Graham Arnold has recalled in-form Adelaide United striker Nathan Burns and rewarded Central Coast defender Nigel Boogaard for his A-League form with a call-up for the Olympic Games qualifier against Lebanon in Beirut later this month.
Burns missed the under 23 side’s home qualifiers against North Korea and Lebanon last month through suspension.
But his outstanding A-League form has propelled him back into the squad alongside United teammate Bruce Djite, who scored two goals for his club side last weekend.
Boogaard will be in line for his Olyroos debut after helping the Mariners to the top of the A-League table with his spirited defensive work.
The young centre-back has been part of a Mariners side who have conceded just two goals in the first six games of the season.
Arnold has also called up five overseas-based players for the match on October 17.
Fulham centre-back Adrian Leijer, along with Swedish-based striker David Williams and English-based Nick Ward (QPR), James Troisi (Newcastle United) and Trent McClenahan (Hereford) have been picked.
The squad will go into a week-long camp in the United Arab Emirates on Monday before travelling to Lebanon.
The Olyroos beat Lebanon 3-0 last month to sit second on goal difference behind group leaders Iraq.
Iraq face North Korea on October 17, before Australia and Iraq clash in Gosford on November 17 in the match likely to decide which team qualifies for next year’s Beijing Olympics.
“We had two very good results and performances at home last month and we will be looking to maintain the momentum that we have built up,” said Olyroos coach Graham Arnold.
“Regardless of the result in Lebanon, the match in Gosford against Iraq next month will be absolutely crucial and we will need strong home support to help the boys over the line,” Arnold said.
“But this away match will be quite a challenge and Lebanon will undoubtedly prove to be a far more difficult proposition at home than they were last month in Gosford when they were also missing three players through suspension.”
Olyroos squad: Nigel Boogaard (Central Coast Mariners), Leigh Broxham (Melbourne Victory), Mark Bridge (Newcastle Jets), Nathan Burns (Adelaide United), Adam Casey (Sydney FC), Billy Celeski (Perth Glory), Bruce Djite (Adelaide United), Adrian Leijer (Fulham, England), Trent McClenahan (Hereford United, England), David Micevski (Perth Glory), Mark Milligan (Sydney FC), Stuart Musialik (Newcastle Jets), Kristian Sarkies (Adelaide United), Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Perth Glory), James Troisi (Newcastle United), Tando Velaphi (Perth Glory), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners), Nick Ward (QPR, England), David Williams (Brondby, Denmark), Ruben Zadkovich (Sydney FC).