Roar talent ready to storm field with strong Socceroos squad

BRISBANE Roar defenders Matt Smith and Ivan Franjic are among eight players in line for a Socceroos debut after coach Holger Osieck named his 20-man squad for next week's East Asian Cup qualifying tournament.

English-born Smith, who recently qualified to play for his adopted country, and Franjic will join Terry Antonis, Dino Djulbic, Michael Marrone, Aaron Mooy, Mat Ryan and Adam Taggart as potential debutants.

Five players named in Osieck's original 25-man squad did not make the final cut.

Dario Vidosic succumbed to a knee problem, while Rostyn Griffiths and Luke Wilkshire were also ruled out due to injury.

Ben Halloran and Osama Malik were not selected.

The Socceroos were due to fly to Hong Kong today and will play their first match of the tournament against Hong Kong on Monday (7.50pm AEST).

They then take on North Korea on Wednesday, Guam on Friday and Taiwan next Sunday.

The East Asian Cup will be held in Seoul, South Korea, from July 20-28 next year.


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