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Mar 22, 2013

Socceroo Holland hoping for a game at home

Rising Socceroos star James Holland is poised to play his first game on home soil in more than four years in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Oman in Sydney.

Holding midfielder Holland started in Australia's last-start international against Romania and is a strong chance of being in the run-on side next week.

If he does, it will be the first game in Australia for the NSW Central Coast product since he played an A-League match for Newcastle at the end of 2008.

"I haven't thought about it too much, but it is exciting," said Holland, who has flourished in Austria after some tough times in the Netherlands.

He has blossomed as the starting defensive midfielder for league-leading Austria Vienna.

"The three years prior to me going to Austria were difficult for me in Europe and I was finding my feet for a long time," Holland said.

"But to eventually get the opportunity and have such a good season so far is really refreshing.

"I found a coach that believed in me, gave me opportunities, stuck with me and that's a big thing."

Holland has another strong supporter in Socceroos coach Holger Osieck, who has praised his play on a number of occasions.

"Holger does believe in me, so it gives you that boost and gives you that little extra belief in yourself," Holland said.

His performances have drawn attention from clubs in other countries including neighbouring Germany, one of the super powers of European football.

"Logically for me, the German Bundesliga would be the next step, being so close to it, and obviously the clubs are always monitoring Austrian football," Holland said.

"I've had some (German) clubs contact my agents and you hear the rumours and stuff, but I'm trying to focus on my football."

Another youngster to earn praise from Osieck is 21-year-old former Brisbane Roar winger Tommy Oar, who plays for Dutch club Utrecht and has also earned more playing time this season.

"Each year, I've been getting more game time, more confidence and, this year, I've nailed down my spot in the starting 11 which has been great for me," Oar said.

"If you look at a number of the Socceroos that have played in Europe the last 10, 15 years - the same thing has happened.

"It doesn't just happen overnight. It takes a lot of adjusting to the standard."

Oar suffered a knee knock in his last match before flying to Australia, but was confident he would be available for Tuesday's game.

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