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A-League stars the headline as Socceroos lock in squad for Korea friendly

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4 days ago
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Graham Arnold has named his 23-man squad to face off against South Korea in a friendly later this month.

With star forward Daniel Arzani suffering an unlucky ACL injury in his Celtic debut, the A-League winning coach has been forced to get creative as he looks to get a better idea of who to take to the Asian Cup in January next year.

The biggest talking points include the selection of Scotsman Martin Boyle – who only recently was cleared to play for the Socceroos and is reportedly still learning the national anthem.

The inclusion of five A-League players is also of note, with Josh Risdon of the Western Sydney Wanderers being selected in the 23, while Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United), Thomas Deng (Melbourne Victory), Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC) and Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets) all being selected as train-on players.

Arnold said the purpose of the selections was to ensure Australia had the deepest possible squad to select from as they prepare to defend their Asian Cup title in January next year, saying he wanted to “ensure that more players are exposed to our style and standards as we edge towards the tournament.”

“This window will be exceptionally important for us as we have only had 15 days to work together as a team on the training pitch,” he said in a press release.

“With limited opportunities and matches to prepare for next year’s AFC Asian Cup it is important that we make the most of every day that we have together,” he added.

Australia’s national side will play two friendlies in quick succession as part of their upcoming fixtures, with next Saturday’s clash against South Korea at Suncorp being followed by a clash with Lebanon in Sydney on the Tuesday.

The clash against Lebanon, at ANZ Stadium, will also serve as a farewell match for Tim Cahill.

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Socceroos squad to play South Korea
Mustafa Amini (AGF Arhus), Aziz Behich (PSV Eindhoven), Martin Boyle (Hibernian), Milos Degenek (Red Star Belgrade), Alex Gersbach (Rosenborg BK), Jackson Irvine (Hull City), James Jeggo (FK Austria Wien), Tomi Juric (FC Luzern), Matthew Jurman (Al-Ittihad Jeddah), Robbie Kruse (VfL Bochum), Mitch Langerak (GK) (Nagoya Grampus), Mathew Leckie (Hertha BSC), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers), Awer Mabil (FC Midtjylland), Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian), Mark Milligan (Hibernian), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Mat Ryan (GK) (Brighton & Hove Albion), Trent Sainsbury (PSV Eindhoven), Danny Vukovic (GK) (KRC Genk)

Train-on players
Thomas Deng (Melbourne Victory), Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United), Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets)