Brett Emerton and Harry Kewell have both been left out of Australia's squad to play Malaysia in a friendly and Oman in a FIFA World Cup™ qualifier as they prepare for their debuts in the A-League after returning home from Europe.
Their omission means Kewell can line up for Melbourne Victory and Emerton for Sydney FC in the two sides' blockbuster encounter in the 8 October opening fixture of the domestic season.
Socceroos coach Holger Osieck opted not to rile the A-league clubs by calling up their new star recruits for the match against Malaysia on 7 October and their Brazil 2014 qualifier against Oman four days later.
The German-born coach said neither man had played much recently and he wanted to take the pressure off them as they adjust to their new clubs. "People obviously have interpreted a lot into the situation which was not necessarily (correct)," Osieck said.
"I decided to give Brett, again like Harry, the opportunity to get settled in his new environment and I don't want to over-stress them. I think it's the best solution from my point of view and I'm very comfortable with that."
While Kewell and Emerton were overlooked, Osieck called up all his other top names, including Tim Cahill, Lucas Neill and Mark Schwarzer.
The Socceroos face Malaysia, in Canberra, for the first time in almost 20 years ahead of the Oman clash in Sydney.
Australia won their first game in Group D of Asian qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, beating Thailand 2-1 before travelling to Damman to outplay Saudi Arabia 3-1 earlier this month.
Goalkeepers: Adam Federici (Reading/England), Mark Schwarzer (Fulham/England)
Defenders: Lucas Neill (Al Jazira/UAE), Sasa Ognenovski (Seongnam Ilhwa/Korea Republic), Matthew Spiranovic (Urawa Red Diamonds/Japan), Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow/Russia), Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough/England), Michael Zullo (Utrecht/Netherlands)
Midfielders: Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace/England), Neil Kilkenny (Bristol City/England), Matt McKay (Rangers/Scotland), James Troisi (Kayserispor/Turkey), Carl Valeri (Sassuolo/Italy)
Forwards: Alex Brosque (Shimizu S-Pulse/Japan), Tim Cahill (Everton/England), Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus Eight/Japan), Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf/Germany), Adam Sarota (Utrecht/Netherlands)