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Arnold to continue exposing new players during November window

Sydney:  Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold named a 23-player squad for Australia’s international friendly against Korea Republic at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on November 17, and explained that he will name a second list of 23 players, for his team’s clash with Lebanon at the ANZ Stadium.

In total, 27 players will convene in Brisbane from Monday onward, with Arnold having rewarded the strong A-League form of Thomas Deng (Melbourne Victory), Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC), Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United), and Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets) with places as train-on players for the November window as he continues to cast his eyes over as many players as possible ahead of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.

The second 23-player list for the Socceroos’ international friendly against Lebanon will include Jamshedpur FC attacker Tim Cahill, who will make his 108th and final appearance for Australia in a farewell match against the Cedars at the ANZ Stadium on November 20.

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Over the course of the September, October, and November FIFA windows, Arnold has called up a total of 39 players. The A-League Championship and Premiership winning coach explained that it has been important to include as many players as possible to ensure that the pool is deep when it comes time to select his final squad for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.

“We made some great progress in Turkey in September, as well as in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait last month,” Arnold said.

“However, this window will be exceptionally important for us as we have only had 15 days to work together as a team on the training pitch. In training, and in our friendlies against Korea Republic and Lebanon, we will be looking to introduce more players to the Socceroos system and reward a number of locally based players for their performances in the A-League and FFA Cup.”

“With limited opportunities and matches to prepare for next year’s AFC Asian Cup it is important that we make the most of every day that we have together, and by calling in additional train-on players from A-League clubs this will ensure that more players are exposed to our style and standards as we edge towards the tournament.

“Several players who have been in and around the squad over the past 12 months, such as Andrew Nabbout and James Jeggo, will also be reintroduced to the group as we continue to add depth to the national team player pool,” he said.

Scottish Premier League side Hibernian FC could be represented by as many as three players when Australia takes to the field against Korea Republic in Brisbane, after Martin Boyle received his clearance to represent Australia recently. Boyle will be joined on the journey to Australia this weekend by Hibs teammates Mark Milligan and former Brisbane Roar attacker Jamie Maclaren.

Premier League stars Mathew Ryan and Aaron Mooy will also return to Australia this month after the duo missed Australia’s 4-0 win over Kuwait last month due to minor injuries.

Sources: Football Federation Australia & AFP

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