Euro emigres dominate latest Socceroos squad
MELBOURNE, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Defender Shane Stefanutto has been called up for the first time as Australia named their squad on Thursday for a friendly against Ghana in London later this month.
Stefanutto, who plays for SK Lillestrom in Norway, is the only new face in an 18-man squad comprised of European-based players for the Nov. 14 encounter against the African side at London's Loftus Road stadium.
Coach Graham Arnold said a raft of international retirements had forced him to look elsewhere for cover as the Socceroos hone their preparations ahead of next year's Asian Cup finals.
'We have had quite a few international retirements of left-sided defenders in a short space of time including Stan Lazaridis, Tony Vidmar, Tony Popovic and Danny Tiatto so we need to develop some other options and Shane will increase those options in that area,' he said in a statement.
Premier League players Tim Cahill, Mark Schwarzer, Brett Emerton and skipper Lucas Neill have been included for the contest against the Africans, who like Australia were eliminated in the second round of the World Cup finals in Germany.
There is also a recall for Newcastle defender Craig Moore, the former skipper who was suspended by Football Federation Australia for missing a training session before last month's friendly against Paraguay in Brisbane.
Australia qualified for next year's Asian finals, to be staged in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, after topping their qualifying group in their first campaign since switching from the Oceania confederation.
Australia squad: John Aloisi (Alaves, Spain), Mark Bresciano (Palermo, Italy), Tim Cahill (Everton, England), Scott Chipperfield (Basel, Switzerland), Jason Culina (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers, England), Vince Grella (Parma, Italy), Brett Holman (NEC Nijmegen, Netherlands), Patrick Kisnorbo (Leicester City, England), Scott McDonald (Motherwell, Scotland), Craig Moore (Newcastle United, England), Lucas Neill (Blackburn Rovers, England), Michael Petkovic (Sivasspor, Turkey), Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough, England), Josip Skoko (Wigan, England), Shane Stefanutto (SK Lillestrom, Norway), Mile Sterjovski (Basel, Switzerland), Luke Wilkshire (Twente, Netherlands)