Socceroos without key quartet
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Lucas Neill and Brett Emerton were named today in a 23-man Australian squad for friendlies against New Zealand and Serbia next month, but other top European-based stars were absent.

Captain Neill will lead the team despite a groin injury forcing him to miss the latter part of the Turkish season with Galatasaray. He is joined by Emerton, who scored a crucial goal for Blackburn last weekend as they avoided relegation from the English Premier League.

But Tim Cahill, David Carney, Harry Kewell and Mark Schwarzer are all missing, either due to injuries or because they need rest.

"Obviously we are at the stage of the season with the European-based players that's very difficult after a long and very intense season," coach Holger Osieck said. "It's great to be able to bring some of these other guys in there. Hopefully they will meet our expectations."

One of the new faces is Melbourne Victory striker Archie Thompson, who has been rewarded for his performances in the AFC Champions League with his first selection under Osieck.

Australia play New Zealand in Adelaide on 5 June and Serbia in Melbourne on 7 June.

Australia squad
Nathan Coe (Sonderjysk/Denmark), Adam Federici (Reading/England, Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund/Germany)

Defenders: Jon McKain (Al Nassr/Saudi Arabia), Mark Milligan (JEF United/Japan), Lucas Neill (Galatasaray/Turkey), Sasa Ognenovski (Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma/Korea Republic), Matthew Spiranovic (Urawa Red Diamonds/Japan), Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough/England), Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow/Russia)

Midfielders: Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers/England), Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands), Mile Jedinak (Genclerbirligi/Turkey), Neil Kilkenny (Leeds United/England), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), James Troisi (Kayserispor/Turkey), Carl Valeri (Sassuolo/Italy), Dario Vidosic (Arminia Bielefeld/Germany), Michael Zullo (Utrecht/Netherlands)

Forwards: Alex Brosque (Shimizu S-Pulse/Japan), Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus/Japan), Robbie Kruse (Melbourne Victory), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory)