Overseas stars, locals mixed in Aust. squad

New Australian football coach Holger Osieck has included

overseas-based stars Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer

with an enlarged contingent of local players in his squad for next

month’s friendly international against Paraguay.

The 19-man squad named Tuesday includes Galatasaray teammates

Kewell and Lucas Neill, Everton’s Cahill, Fulham’s Schwarzer and

Japan-based striker Josh Kennedy.

A third of the squad is drawn from Australian football’s

A-League, indicating Germany’s Osieck’s may have more faith in the

quality of the local league than did his predecessor Pim

Verbeek.

Australian-based players named in the squad include Socceroos

regular Jason Culina, Adelaide goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic,

Brisbane midfielder Matt McKay, defender Michael Thwaite, striker

Alex Brosque and Wellington defender Jade North.

”When I came, I heard all the critical voices regarding the

A-League but I don’t share it,” Osieck said. ”The rationale for

picking a player is performance and not which club he plays

for.

The Oct. 9 international against World Cup quarterfinalists

Paraguay will be Osieck’s first in charge of Australia but he said

he felt no extra pressure.

”The pressure is permanent no matter where you play because the

pressure, first and foremost, comes from me, it’s intrinsic because

I have high expectations,” Osieck said.

”I want our team to do well. We want to give a good

performance, to entertain the crowd and, of course, we want to have

a positive result.”

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Australia:

Goalkeepers: Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Mark Schwarzer

(Fulham).

Defenders: David Carney (Blackpool), Jon McKain (Al Nassr),

Lucas Neill (Galatasaray), Jade North (Wellington), Michael Thwaite

(Gold Coast), Luke Wilkshire (Dynamo Moscow).

Midfielders: Tim Cahill (Everton), Jason Culina (Gold Coast),

Richard Garcia (Hull), Mile Jedinak (Genclerbirligi), Matt McKay

(Brisbane), Carl Valeri (Sassuolo), Dario Vidosic (Nuremberg).

Forwards: Alex Brosque (Sydney), Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus),

Harry Kewell (Galatasaray), Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough).