Here’s the latest news on the Socceroos squad
The Socceroos boast an experienced core who have been playing together for the best part of a decade, and it’s the likes of Schwarzer, Kewell and Cahill who will again determine whether Australia progress beyond the group stage.
But to the keen eye, this squad also hints at the shape of the national side once the old warhorses pull the plug, with Dario Vidosic, Nikita Rukavytsya and Tommy Oar all highly-rated.
Coach Pim Verbeek‘s hard graft, attritional football ensured Australia qualified comfortably, but looms as an Achilles Heel once the real stuff starts. Australia will be solid in defence, with Schwarzer a star in goals, and industrious through the midfield. But in attack, real quality appears thin on the ground.
Much depends on Harry Kewell, dodgy groin pending, who seems likely to play as a second striker alongside Josh Kennedy, and Verbeek will be desperately hoping Tim Cahill’s happy knack of scoring crucial goals for Everton transfers to international level.
But, drawn in a tough group with Germany, Serbia and Ghana, there is a nagging suspicion that Australia’s lack of a world-class, out-and-out striker could be their undoing, a shortcoming that will bite even harder should Kewell be less than 100 per cent fit. The Socceroos generally manage to create plenty of chances, but frustratingly fail to finish, a luxury they can ill afford in South Africa.
Mark Schwarzer (Fulham): Age: 37. Caps: 73. Debut: 1993.
Adam Federici (Reading): Age: 25. Uncapped.
Brad Jones (Middlesbrough): Age: 28. Caps: 1. Debut: 2007.
Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United): Age: 28. Caps: 4. Debut: 2009.
Lucas Neill (Galatasaray, capt): Age: 32. Caps: 53. Debut: 1996.
Craig Moore (uncontracted): Age: 34. Caps: 47. Debut: 1995.
Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow): Age: 28. Caps: 40. Debut: 2004.
Scott Chipperfield (FC Basel): Age: 34. Caps: 63. Debut: 1998.
David Carney (FC Twente): Age: 26. Caps: 23. Debut: 2006.
Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough): Age: 21. Caps: 3. Debut: 2009.
Mark Milligan (JEF United): Age: 24. Caps: 9. Debut: 2006.
Jade North (Tromso): Age: 27. Caps: 28. Debut: 2002.
Michael Beauchamp (Al-Jazira): Age: 29. Caps: 19. Debut: 2006.
Shane Lowry (Aston Villa): Age 20. Uncapped.
Jason Culina (Gold Coast): Age: 29. Caps: 46. Debut: 2005.
Vince Grella (Blackburn): Age: 30. Caps: 42. Debut: 2003.
Brett Emerton (Blackburn): Age: 31. Caps: 72. Debut: 1998.
Mark Bresciano (Palermo): Age: 30. Caps: 52. Debut: 2001.
Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar): Age: 26. Caps: 29. Debut: 2006.
Tim Cahill (Everton): Age: 30. Caps: 37. Debut: 2004.
Dario Vidosic (MSV Duisburg): Age: 23. Caps: 4. Debut: 2009.
Carl Valeri (Sassuolo): Age: 25. Caps: 19. Debut: 2007.
Mile Jedinak (Antalyaspor): Age: 25. Caps: 9. Debut: 2008.
Nick Carle (Crystal Palace): Age: 28. Caps: 12. Debut: 2004.
Tommy Oar (Utrecht): Age: 18. Caps: 1. Debut: 2010.
James Holland (AZ Alkmaar): Age: 21. Caps: 4. Debut: 2008.
Richard Garcia (Hull): Age: 28. Caps: 5. Debut: 2008.
Harry Kewell (Galatasaray): Age: 31. Caps: 45. Debut: 1996.
Josh Kennedy (Nagoya): Age: 27. Caps: 18. Debut: 2006.
Nikita Rukavytsya (Roeselare): Age: 22. Caps: 2. Debut: 2009.
Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough): Age: 26. Caps: 15. Debut: 2006.