Kewell has a future: Socceroos coach
Socceroos veteran Harry Kewell was left out of Australia’s 20-man squad for next Wednesday’s friendly against Scotland in Edinburgh, but national coach Holger Osieck believes he still has a future in the side.
Kewell, yet to sign a new club deal after cutting ties with Melbourne Victory and returning to England, and Tim Cahill both missed to garner selection for the Easter Road clash.
Cahill, considered one of Australia’s best in their last-start 1-1 draw with Japan, recently made a surprise transfer from English Premier League club Everton to the US, joining New York Red Bulls.
His omission is less of a surprise because, after joining Red Bulls last week, Cahill announced he wouldn’t be available for Socceroos’ selection while he looks to settle into life at his new club.
While Cahill has his short-term future settled, Kewell has been a free agent since June 24 when he quit the A-League for family reasons.
“It’s very unfortunate for him that right now, he is hanging in-between – no club – and still waiting for some kind of signing,” Osieck said.
“I hope that will work out pretty quickly, because I still think he’s got great potential and, whenever I’ve had him in the group, he was a very positive person.”
Lucas Neill is also without a team, but Osieck said this was a different situation to Kewell’s and that the defender will be primed to captain the Socceroos for the 50th time.
“He has been working with teams and clubs and he’s close to re-signing again with one of the Middle Eastern teams.
“In his role as captain, he’s very important to me and the team.”
Ex-Everton striker Cahill raised some eyebrows with his decision to leave England for Major League Soccer (MLS) in the US.
“What can I say? It’s his decision. Although he has two years to go on his contract with Everton, he has opted for a new challenge – North America – a new environment and he thinks it’s a good move for him,” Osieck said.
“The MLS is becoming stronger and stronger, and they have developed tremendously.
“It’s not an easy league so he will be forced to show his best and that is very positive for the Socceroos as well.”
Defenders Jason Davidson and Ryan McGowan were given their first call-ups, while Chris Herd is also in line to make his national debut after withdrawing from two previous squads due to injury.
Australia started the final round of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup with draws against Oman (away) and Japan (home), with Jordan being the next hurdle on September 11.
© AAP 2013
Socceroos squad for Scotland friendly: Mark Bresciano, Alex Brosque, David Carney, Jason Davidson, Adam Federici, Chris Herd, Brett Holman, Mile Jedinak, Neil Kilkenny, Robbie Kruse, Mitch Langerak, Scott McDonald, Ryan McGowan, Lucas Neill, Sasa Ognenovski, Mark Schwarzer, Archie Thompson, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire, Rhys Williams.
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