Australian midfielder John Hutchinson has been called up by Malta for their ongoing 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifying campaign, his Central Coast Mariners club said on Monday.

Hutchinson, 29, is one of several players with Maltese heritage to have been identified by the Maltese Football Association in a bid to strengthen the national team, ranked 150th in the latest FIFA rankings. Born and raised in Australia, Hutchinson qualifies to play for Malta through his grandmother, who immigrated from Malta several decades ago.

Hutchinson is in line to play in a friendly international against the Czech Republic in Jablonec on Friday ahead of a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Sweden in Gothenburg on 10 June, the Mariners said.