Australia coach Holger Osieck turns to experienced duo
Josh Kennedy and Sasa Ognenovski are back in the Australia squad for next month's crucial World Cup qualifiers.
Last Updated: 23/05/13 9:13am
Socceroos boss Holger Osieck revealed his 26-man squad on Thursday ahead of Australia's three final qualifiers against Japan, Jordan and Iraq.
Kennedy has not been involved with the national team since Australia's qualifier against Japan in Brisbane in May last year.
The tall striker has battled a troubling back injury but returned to the field with club side Nagoya Grampus last month, playing in their last eight matches.
Ognenovski, who plays his club football for Qatari side Umm-Salal, also earns a recall to the squad after missing out for the most recent qualifiers.
The outspoken Ognenovski has had his differences with Osieck in the past but with the Socceroos desperate to secure the remaining points to get them to Brazil, he is back in favour.
Following an intense training camp on the Central Coast recently, skipper Lucas Neill has been declared fit after missing the clash with Oman through suspension.
In total, seven A-League players are in the squad, including Franjic, Eugene Galekovic, Mark Milligan, Jade North, Archie Thompson, Michael Thwaite and Dario Vidosic.
Youngsters like Rogic, Tommy Oar, James Holland and Robbie Kruse are also there with the experience to again be provided by Tim Cahill, Mark Bresciano, Mark Schwarzer and Luke Wilkshire.
There was no place for club-less attacker Harry Kewell or Central Coast defender Trent Sainsbury, who was reportedly close to a berth after impressing Osieck at the recent training camp.
Thwaite and Robbie Cornthwaite have got the nod as the defensive options behind Neill and Ognenovski.
The Socceroos squad will assemble in Japan in the middle of next week ahead of the match in Saitama on June 4.
Australia are currently third in their group, with home games against Jordan and Iraq to come after the Japan clash, with the Socceroos needing to finish in the top two spots for automatic qualification for Brazil.
The Socceroos squad is: Mark Schwarzer, Eugene Galekovic, Mitchell Langerak; Lucas Neill (capt), Michael Thwaite, Robbie Cornthwaite, Ivan Franjic, Ryan McGowan, Mark Milligan, Jade North, Sasa Ognenovski, Luke Wilkshire; Mark Bresicano, Tim Cahill, Brett Holman, Dario Vidosic, James Holland, Mile Jedinak, Matt McKay, Tommy Oar, Tom Rogic, Michael Zullo; Josh Kennedy, Archie Thompson, Alex Brosque, Robbie Kruse.