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Football | World Cup 2014

Australia call up Rogic for SKorea friendly

Promising young midfielder Tom Rogic was one of five uncapped players named in Australia's squad on Wednesday for next week's friendly against South Korea.

Rogic, 19, scored twice in an outstanding display for the Central Coast Mariners when they beat a Sydney FC side, albeit without the injured Alessandro Del Piero, 7-2 in the A-League last weekend.

The teenager's reward was a place in a squad for next Wednesday's friendly in Hwaseong, which forms part of coach Holger Osieck's preparations for the second phase of their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Osieck warned that not too much expectation should be placed on his shoulders but was clearly excited by Rogic's potential.

"Technically he is very sound but he has that element of creativity, he does the unexpected, which can decide a game and can give a certain flavour to a game," the German told a news conference.

"That is what I like, he is not an average player. Physically he has to mature, his endurance capacity has to improve and his mobility in tight areas needs to get better.

"That will come with time and will be achieved but what you can't achieve is natural talent."

The squad is without several Europe-based players whose travel for a one-off match would be prohibitively arduous.

Osieck said he would be looking to those experienced players in the squad, including skipper Lucas Neill and goalkeeper Mark Schwartzer, to provide leadership to the youngsters.

The other uncapped players named were Red Star Belgrade striker Eli Babalj, Melbourne Heart left winger Aziz Behich, FSV Frankfurt forward Mathew Leckie and Rogic's club mate Mathew Ryan, a goalkeeper.

Australia's next World Cup qualifier is against the Omanis in Sydney on March 26, when they will be looking to entrench themselves in the second of the two qualifying positions for the 2014 World Cup from Asian Group B.

The South Koreans currently top Group A and look in good shape to reach the World Cup finals for the eighth successive tournament.

Squad - Eli Babalj, Aziz Behich, Alex Brosque, James Holland, Mathew Leckie, Ryan McGowan, Matt McKay, Lucas Neill, Tommy Oar, Tom Rogic, Nikita Rukavytsya, Mathew Ryan, Adam Sarota, Mark Schwarzer, Matthew Spiranovic, Archie Thompson, Michael Thwaite, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire.


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