Football 2 years ago

Olyroos duty hits top A-League teams

  • Olyroos duty hits top A-League teams

Three of the A-League's top four teams have been shorn of key players after the Olyroos squad was selected for next week's two-match tour to the Middle East.

Defending champions Melbourne Victory have been the hardest hit, with four players - Jason Geria, Scott Galloway, Connor Pain and Giancarlo Gallifuoco - named in coach Aurelio Vidmar's strong 22-man squad.

The quartet will miss next weekend's blockbuster Big Blue against Sydney FC, who themselves lose attacking weapons Andrew Hoole and Chris Naumoff.

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The Sky Blues will also be missing Shane Smeltz for the November 14 clash at Allianz Stadium, with the New Zealand striker set to be on senior international duty.

Brisbane Roar's stunning start to the season has cost them the services of striker Jamie Maclaren and left-back Corey Brown for their home encounter against Perth Glory the following day.

But there was no room in the Vidmar's squad for the Roar's in-form winger Brandon Borrello, who leads the A-League's scoring charts with four goals after four games and made his Olyroos aspirations clear on Monday.

The Olyroos will take on Qatar on November 12 and Iran on November 16, with this camp the last opportunity for Vidmar to work with his players ahead of January's Asian qualifiers for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

"This is the last chance for players to stake their claim and guarantee a place in the final squad with quality performances from this tour," Vidmar said.

"For us it is a fantastic opportunity to play two matches against quality opposition so close to January.

"It is an extra bonus to play in Qatar so we can familiarise ourselves with the city we will be playing the (Asian qualifiers) in as well.

"It was a good challenge for us to play two tough matches against South Korea last month and from those matches we know what we need to work on."

The Olyroos will be led by Mustafa Amini, Josh Brillante, Chris Ikonomidis, Jackson Irvine and Adam Taggart, all of whom have spent time with the Socceroos in recent years.

Also in the squad are uncontracted pair Aaron Lennox and Brad Smith.

Olyroos: Mustafa Amini, Joshua Brillante, Corey Brown, Daniel De Silva, Milos Degenek, Kenneth Dougall, Jack Duncan (gk), Ryan Edwards, Giancarlo Gallifuoco, Scott Galloway, Jason Geria, Andrew Hoole, Christopher Ikonomidis, Jackson Irvine, Aaron Lennox, Awer Mabil, Jamie Maclaren, Christopher Naumoff, Connor Pain, Bradley Smith, Adam Taggart, Steven Ugarkovic (gk).

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