Australia coach Holger Osieck warned misfiring stars Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton they would have to improve their performances to stand a chance of playing in upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifiers.
The former Premiership veterans return to the Socceroos squad after being overlooked for recent home games against Malaysia and Oman as they prepared for their first matches in the domestic A-League, after long stints overseas.
Osieck left them out for last month's internationals to give them time to build up match fitness, and he warned they needed to prove themselves capable of more than he had seen so far in the local season. "There's no guarantee (they'll play) at all, I'm pretty much performance-related," Osieck said after unveiling his 23-man squad.
"I ask a lot more of them other than they have produced so far. But knowing their value and what they can bring to the team I invited them."
Osieck said Everton star and regular Socceroo Tim Cahill had been omitted due to a groin injury but he was the "only issue" with the squad. Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer was called up, along with Brisbane Roar's Mitch Nichols and Aston Villa defender Chris Herd, who stands to make his international debut for the Socceroos.
The remaining 18 players were in the side that downed Malaysia 5-0 and Oman 3-0 last month.
Osieck said the squad would assemble in Dubai early next week ahead of their 10 November qualifier against Oman in Muscat.
Australian football officials are liaising daily with the Asian Football Confederation about flooding in Bangkok ahead of their 15 November game against Thailand in the city and said no change of venue had yet been advised.
Goalkeepers: Nathan Coe (Sonderjysk/Denmark), Adam Federici (Reading/England), Mark Schwarzer (Fulham/England)
Defenders: Chris Herd (Aston Villa/England), Lucas Neill (Al Jazira/United Arab Emirates), Sasa Ognenovski (Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma/Korea Republic), Matthew Spiranovic (Urawa Red Diamonds/Japan), Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow/Russia), Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough/England), Michael Zullo (Utrecht/Netherlands)
Midfielders: Brett Emerton (Sydney FC), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace/England), Neil Kilkenny (Bristol City/England), Matt McKay (Rangers/Scotland), Mitch Nichols (Brisbane Roar), James Troisi (Kayserispor/Turkey), Carl Valeri (Sassuolo/Italy)
Forwards: Alex Brosque (Shimizu S-Pulse/Japan), Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands), Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus/Japan), Harry Kewell (Melbourne Victory), Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf/Germany), Adam Sarota (Utrecht/Netherlands)