Caltex Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou said Luke Brattan’s selection is reward for “instrumental” displays with Melbourne City and he praised the Hyundai A-League’s quality after picking five players from Australia’s booming domestic competition.
After selecting his 30-man squad for November’s World Cup qualifier with Thailand, Postecoglou told reporters 26-year-old Brattan’s form has been eye-catching.
“He’s been on our radar for a while and has started the season strongly.
“We’re developing some real depth and quality in that midfield area with the players we have in there at the moment.
“And they are all continuing their strong form, the likes of [Massimo] Luongo, [Aaron] Mooy, [Tom] Rogic, [Jackson] Irvine, [Mark Milligan] and [Mile] Jedinak.
“It’s important we’re always casting our eye over guys that can potentially add something to that, whether it’s now or down the track.
At the beginning of this season, Luke has been doing really well.”
As well as a return to the squad for Bursaspor left-back Aziz Behich, Postecoglou has also picked four more players from the Hyundai A-League alongside Tim Cahill.
Melbourne Victory’s Jason Geria and Josh Risdon (Perth Glory) are options for the right back spot and could both come into the squad should Degenek fail to regain fitness.
Postecoglou added of Oar: “When playing well and in form he’s someone that does add something to the team.
“Over the course of the season I have no doubt once he does get comfortable and find some consistency, he will be a standout in the [A-League].
“He brings certain qualities even at national team level that adds to what we’re doing.”
The Caltex Socceroos boss admitted he’s been impressed with the standard of the Hyundai A-League over the first three rounds and with Australia’s next qualifier after Thailand not until next March, he expects more players to push for selection.
He also revealed there are injury concerns around defenders Brad Smith and Milos Degenek.
The pair were named in an extended 30-man squad on Wednesday, which Postecoglou needs to trim to 23 next week ahead of the November 15 clash in Bangkok.
Smith picked up a foot injury in the last qualifier against Japan and hasn’t featured for club side AFC Bournemouth since.
And Degenek suffered a knee injury for club side 1860 Munich last month which forced him out of the recent qualifiers.
“Milos has already resumed training and Brad should in the next couple of days.
“It gives us a chance to have a good look at them in the next couple of days before finalising the squad.”