Osieck: Bresciano has Socceroo future
Australia coach Holger Osieck has not ruled out a return to international football for Mark Bresciano, despite the midfielder again being left out of his latest squad.
Bresciano was not named in the Socceroos' 23-man party today for next month's internationals against New Zealand and Serbia, joining the likes of Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell and Mark Schwarzer who are all unavailable due to injury.
The Lazio midfielder hasn't featured in the Australia squad since Osieck took over as coach following last year's FIFA World Cup™, fuelling speculation his international career may have already come to an end. But Osieck indicated that definitely wasn't the case and has left the door open for the 31-year-old to return to the fold down the line.
"I stayed in Europe after the Germany game and watched a number of players. Unfortunately the timetable didn't allow me to get to Italy," Osieck said. "But down the road I can imagine that he (Bresciano) can come back into the team. I never rule out any players for my team."
Unfortunately Osieck did have to rule out Cahill, Kewell, Schwarzer and left-back David Carney who are all nursing injuries and tired bodies after long seasons with their European club sides. But their absences have opened the door for youngsters Michael Zullo and James Troisi to get their first opportunities under Osieck, while Middlesbrough defender Rhys Williams is also back after injury robbed him of a spot in South Africa.
"When you watch him play you can see good things in him," Osieck said of Williams. "I consider him being a very efficient right full-back/central defender. He's fast so when it comes to running duels he can catch up the opponent from deep.
"His tackling is sound, he has very good ball control and passing. So he's got a lot of attributes which are positive and made me get him into our group for the games."
AFC Asian Cup squad members Brett Emerton, Luke Wilkshire, Brett Holman, Sasa Ognenovski, Matt McKay and Robbie Kruse are all included while Mitchell Langerak, Nathan Coe and Reading's Adam Federici are the goalkeeper replacements for Schwarzer.
Skipper Lucas Neill, who has battled a groin injury for most of the season with Turkish club Galatasaray, has shrugged off the problem and will lead the side for the matches in Adelaide (5 June) and Melbourne (7 June). "He's a very ambitious guy, he's our team captain and he desperately wanted to be in the group," Osieck said of Neill.
"His rehab program has made really great progress and I think he should be in the group anyway because his presence in itself is very important for the boys. If he's in position to play the two games in that short period for 90 minutes remains to be seen but it's great to have him in the squad."
Asked about Melbourne striker Archie Thompson, who has been included for the first time on his watch, Osieck said the Victory frontman had been on his radar for some time. "He was in contention for the Asian Cup in Qatar but then he got his injury," he said. "We all know his quality. He is a very useful player and it's good to have him."