Football: Emerton, Kewell left out of Australia squad

SYDNEY Sept 28 — Brett Emerton and Harry Kewell were on Tuesday both left out of Australia’s squad to play Malaysia and Oman as they prepare for their debuts in the A-League after returning home from Europe.

Their omission means Kewell can line up for Melbourne Victory and Emerton for Sydney FC in the two sides’ blockbuster encounter in the October 8 opening fixture of the domestic season.

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck opted not to rile the A-league clubs by calling up their new star recruits for a friendly against Malaysia on October 7 and their World Cup qualifier against Oman four days later.

The German-born coach said neither man had played much recently and he wanted to take the pressure off them as they adjust to their new clubs.

“People obviously have interpreted a lot into the situation which was not necessarily (correct),” Osieck told reporters.

“I decided to give Brett, again like Harry, the opportunity to get settled in his new environment and I don’t want to over-stress them. I think it’s the best solution from my point of view and I’m very comfortable with that.”

While Kewell and Emerton were overlooked, Osieck called up all his other top names, including Tim Cahill, Lucas Neill and Mark Schwarzer.

The Socceroos face Malaysia, in Canberra, for the first time in almost 20 years ahead of the Oman clash in Sydney.

Australia won their first game in Group D of Asian qualifying for the World Cup, beating Thailand 2-1 before travelling to Damman to outplay Saudi Arabia 3-1 earlier this month.

Squad:

Alex Brosque, Tim Cahill, Adam Federici, Brett Holman, Mile Jedinak, Josh Kennedy, Neil Kilkenny, Robbie Kruse, Matthew McKay, Lucas Neill, Sasa Ognenovski, Adam Sarota, Mark Schwarzer, Matthew Spiranovik, James Troisi, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire, Rhys Williams and Michael Zullo. – AFP

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