Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has overlooked former Premier League star Harry Kewell for his team's friendly against South Africa in London on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old Kewell, now playing with Turkish side Galatasaray, has a slight knee injury and was left out of Verbeek's squad for the match, which is an important warm-up ahead of the next stage of FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers, starting with Uzbekistan in Tashkent on 10 September. Brett Emerton is another notable absentee from the Socceroos squad as the Dutch coach experiments with different combinations.
Verbeek has chosen only overseas-based players, preferring to let Australian-based players in Socceroos contention gain match practice in the domestic A-League, with the new season just underway.
Veteran Scott Chipperfield returns to the side for the first time since Verbeek took over, having shrugged off a foot injury. Bruce Djite, Richard Garcia and Olympic squad members David Carney, Mark Milligan and Matthew Spiranovic have all been promoted to the squad, with Garcia in line for his Socceroos debut.
"This camp is a good opportunity for us to see the players after their off-season break," Verbeek said. "Most of the players have just started, or are about to start, their respective domestic competitions and we can now start focusing on the World Cup qualifiers which are just around the corner. With that in mind, we will be looking to try a few different things in the match against South Africa on Tuesday night."
The Socceroos also have a friendly against the Netherlands on 6 September.