Australia backed star forward Harry Kewell to overcome his latest injury setback before next month's FIFA World Cup™ as coach Pim Verbeek named a 31-man provisional squad on Tuesday.
Verbeek said Kewell, included alongside Everton match-winner Tim Cahill and Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, will be ready for Australia's 13 June opener against three-time winners Germany despite fresh groin problems.
"Of course there are rumours, of course there are opinions, but Harry will be ready," Verbeek told an unveiling ceremony in Sydney. "Medical staff, everybody, Harry himself inform me that he will be okay. We still have five weeks to prepare him for the first game against Germany so don't worry about him, he will be there."
Verbeek gave a surprise call-up to 18-year-old Tommy Oar, who only made his international debut in March, as possible cover on the left wing for Kewell or Mark Bresciano, who is battling a back problem. Blackburn's Brett Emerton and Vince Grella were also named despite injury concerns, while Archie Thompson and Patrick Kisnorbo were among those ruled out by more serious problems. Verbeek included Adelaide United's Eugene Galekovic as a standby goalkeeper.
Fourteen of the squad were present when Australia reached the knockout stage at Germany 2006 before falling to eventual winners Italy through a late penalty.
Goalkeepers: Adam Federici (Reading/England), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide Utd), Brad Jones (Middlesbrough/England), Mark Schwarzer (Fulham/England),
Defenders: Michael Beauchamp (Al-Jazira/United Arab Emirates), David Carney (FC Twente/Netherlands), Scott Chipperfield (Basel/Switzerland), Shane Lowry (Aston Villa/England), Mark Milligan (JEF United/Japan), Craig Moore (uncontracted), Lucas Neill (Galatasaray/Turkey), Jade North (Tromso/Norway), Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow/Russia), Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough/England)
Midfielders: Mark Bresciano (Palermo/Italy), Tim Cahill (Everton/England), Nick Carle (Crystal Palace/England), Jason Culina (Gold Coast Utd), Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers/England), Richard Garcia (Hull City/England), Vince Grella (Blackburn Rovers/England), James Holland (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands), Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands), Mile Jedinak (Antalyaspor Kulubu/Turkey), Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht/Netherlands), Carl Valeri (Sassuolo/Italy), Dario Vidosic (Nuremberg/Germany),
Forwards: Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus/Japan), Harry Kewell (Galatasaray/Turkey), Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough/England), Nikita Rukavytsya (FC Twente/Netherlands)
* Please note that squad lists only become official after they have been submitted to and announced by FIFA.