Graham Arnold has looked home and abroad in selecting his first of two 23-man squads, as the Caltex Socceroos take on Korea Republic and Lebanon in November.
The squad sees a mix of familiar faces rub shoulders with some European-based players who have gone about their business overseas since forging successful careers in the Hyundai A-League.
Mustafa Amini, Martin Boyle and James Jeggo have their own unique backgrounds, but share the same goal. The trio will be gunning to be a part of Arnold’s final squad that heads to the United Arab Emirates to defend our AFC Asian Cup title.
One season was all Mustafa Amini needed to announce himself to Australian football fans.
The curly-haired teenager showed tenacity and superb football intelligence as he pulled the strings for Central Coast Mariners. His club form caught the eye of Borussia Dortmund, where he spent three seasons honing his craft in the reserve team, Borussia Dortmund II.
Now at 25-years-old, Amini is into third season at Danish Superliga outfit, Aarhus Gymnstakforening. The midfielder has made more than 60 appearances for the club, earning him a spot in consecutive Caltex Socceroos camps - testament to the depth and quality Arnold has at his disposal.
It is well-documented that the Caltex Socceroos have some serious pace out wide and in the final third. Names such as Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie and Andrew Nabbout spring to mind, and that’s before one considers our marauding full-backs.
Well, fans can add another name to the Caltex Socceroos’ list of speedsters, with Martin Boyle now eligible to play for Australia and ready to hit the ground running. The 25-year-old Hibernian winger, who has played twice for Scotland as a youth international, is eligible to don the Green and Gold because his father was born in Sydney.
Boyle has more than 20 goals for Hibernian, most recently scoring in a six-goal thriller against Tomi Rogic’s Celtic. He will no doubt be seeking to score his first for the Caltex Socceroos if he is given a chance by Arnold in either Brisbane or Sydney.
Many a Hyundai A-League fan will be familiar with James ‘Jimmy’ Jeggo.
The 26-year-old plied his trade for Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United over five years, cementing himself as one of the most dynamic and skilful midfielders on Australian shores. This form earned Jeggo a move to Sturm Graz in the Austrian Football Bundesliga, where he made over 60 appearances over three seasons.
Jeggo signed for Austria Wien at the start of the 2018/19 season and has since made nine appearances in all competitions. The midfielder returns to the Caltex Socceroos setup for the first time since Arnold’s appointment as Head Coach, and will have the November window to stake a claim on the flight to UAE come January.