There are players in form in the Hyundai A-League who will be on Ange Postecoglou’s radar for March’s FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Iraq and UAE.
We’ve picked six players from the Hyundai A-League who have yet to win a Caltex Socceroos cap that might get the nod.
Andrew Nabbout (Newcastle Jets)
If you mentioned Nabbout as a possible Caltex Socceroos contender at the start of the season, it would've seemed a little fanciful.
He arrived back in the A-League from the Malaysian Super League with little fanfare, but now after a sensational run of form by the 24-year-old attacker he's the name on everyone's lips.
Has pace, power, great dribbling skill and an eye for goal. And Ange knows tat after giving him his Victory debut a few seasons back.
The forward's career drifted somewhat since leaving Victory but he's back in a big way.
Nabbout has scored the most goals (five) and had the most assists (three) for the Jets while he’s won a swag of man-of-the-match awards too.
Brandon O’Neill (Sydney FC)
Don’t let the cheeky smile and perfect hair fool you. The 22-year-old has been an unsung hero in the Sky Blues’ unbeaten season so far, earning a nomination for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award for October.
Has a great engine, can play a killer pass and is a real team man. Would not look out of place among the Caltex Socceroos’ star-studded midfield.
Danny Vukovic (Sydney FC)
"Vuka" has been part of the Hyundai A-League right from the start and it’s hard to remember him playing better than he is right now at the Sky Blues. He’s a regular in goal and has come up with a number huge saves this season, a major reason why Sydney has kept 10 clean sheets in 16 games. At 31, he brings loads of experience, a winning culture and exudes confidence.
Ben Garuccio (Adelaide United)
Left-back was supposed to be a problem area for Ange but with the likes of Garuccio (as well as Sydney FC’s 10-capped Socceroo Michael Zullo), the Hyundai A-League is throwing up some genuine options. Garuccio, 21, has been the Reds’ most consistent player in the 2016/17 Season with his gut-busting surges forward and excellent crossing a real feature of his game.
Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC)
No surprise Grant’s name has been thrown around for a possible call-up given his career-best form with the Sky Blues.
The 25-year-old right-back has been given a licence to get forward at every opportunity by coach Graham Arnold and his ability and fitness to get up and back for 90 minutes makes him perfect for Ange’s Socceroos.
Grant has four assists in the 2016/17 Season, the most for any defender in the Hyundai A-League. And he has incredible engines.
Brandon Borrello (Brisbane Roar)
It’s taken a little while for the 21-year-old to get going this season but Borrello has started to catch fire in recent weeks.
Like Nabbout, offers real pace and energy out wide, while his ruthless style could be useful in the cut-throat qualifiers to come against Iraq and UAE. If there are injuries to the likes of Kruse, Leckie and Burns, could be considered.