Socceroos Squad Announced Ahead Of South Korea Friendly

The19-year-old wunderkind, Tom Rogic, is a new inclusion for the Socceroos tough international challenge.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

Australian coach Holger Osieck named his squad ahead of the Socceroos friendly against the Korean Republic (South Korea) next week and unless you’re a diehard A-League fan you probably wouldn't have heard of the inclusion of a young rising star worth getting excited about- Tom Rogic.

South Korea is the second ranked team (25th-world ranked) behind Japan in the AFC FIFA division, ranked one spot higher than the Socceroos (34th), and will provide a very suitable challenge during the extended break for World Cup qualifying play.

The inclusion of the 19-year-old Rogic has turned some heads, especially considering the kid wasn’t playing professional soccer a year ago. An emerging star in the A-League, the product out of the nation’s capital began his professional career for Central Coast Mariners in January after a stint at the Premier League Academy in the UK, which didn’t eventuate into a pro contract due to work permit issues.

But are we getting ahead of ourselves about a largely unproven and inexperienced prospect?

Osieck, and Rogic himself, would suggest that we are.  

"I feel very proud and honoured to get a call-up but I'm not getting carried away," Rogic said. "To talk about any game time or anything like that would just be a bonus. I'm just going over there hoping to learn a lot in my short time there and I can't wait."

Osieck echoed a similar tone, suggesting, at this point, an international call up is probably out of the question.

"He is a good boy, he has a lot of talent and a lot of special qualities but he is far from being on a top international level," Osieck said. "He has all the ingredients to become a good player, to even represent Australia. That's one thing, but he's not there yet."

Rogic earned selection after a starring role in the Mariners dominant 7-2 win against a Del Piero less Sydney FC last weekend. Even if playing time is initially hard to come by, Rogic should find himself in a central role during December qualifiers for next year's East Asian Cup.

The squad also features talented Mariners goalkeeper Mat Ryan and Germany-based former A-League star Mathew Leckie.

Australia squad:Eli Babalj, Aziz Behich, Alex Brosque, James Holland, Mathew Leckie, Ryan McGowan, Matt McKay, Lucas Neill, Tommy Oar, Tom Rogic, Nikita Rukavytsya, Mathew Ryan, Adam Sarota, Mark Schwarzer, Matthew Spiranovic, Archie Thompson, Michael Thwaite, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire.

Australian coach Holger Osieck named his squad ahead of the Socceroos friendly against the Korean Republic (South Korea) next week and, unless you’re a diehard A-League fan, included in the team is a young rising star worth getting excited about- Tom Rogic.

South Korea is the second ranked team (25th-world ranked) behind Japan in the AFC FIFA division, ranked one spot higher than the Socceroos (34th), and will provide a very suitable challenge during the extended break for World Cup qualifying play.

The inclusion of the 19-year-old Rogic has turned some heads, especially considering the kid wasn’t playing professional soccer a year ago. The product out of the nation’s capital began his professional career for Central Coast Mariners in January after a stint at the Premier League Academy in the UK, which didn’t eventuate into a pro contract due to work permit issues.

But are we getting ahead of ourselves about a largely unproven and inexperienced prospect?

At the least Osieck, and Rogic himself, would insinuate that we are.  

"I feel very proud and honoured to get a call-up but I'm not getting carried away," Rogic said. "To talk about any game time or anything like that would just be a bonus. I'm just going over there hoping to learn a lot in my short time there and I can't wait."

Osieck echoed a similar tone, suggesting, at this point, an international call up is probably out of the question.

"He is a good boy, he has a lot of talent and a lot of special qualities but he is far from being on a top international level," Osieck said. "… He has all the ingredients to become a good player, to even represent Australia. That's one thing, but he's not there yet."

Rogic earned selection after a starring role in the Mariners dominant 7-2 win against a Del Piero less Sydney FC last weekend. Even if playing time is initially hard to come by, Rogic should find himself in a central role during December qualifiers for next year's East Asian Cup.

The squad also features talented Mariners goalkeeper Mat Ryan and Germany-based former A-League star Mathew Leckie.

Australia squad:Eli Babalj, Aziz Behich, Alex Brosque, James Holland, Mathew Leckie, Ryan McGowan, Matt McKay, Lucas Neill, Tommy Oar, Tom Rogic, Nikita Rukavytsya, Mathew Ryan, Adam Sarota, Mark Schwarzer, Matthew Spiranovic, Archie Thompson, Michael Thwaite, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire.

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Follow Robert White on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.