McKay credits A-League for Cup selection

Asian Cup Socceroos squad member Matt McKay says the selection of four Hyundai A-League players for the January tournament in Qatar shows that regular playing time has become a key factor in national selection.

Asian Cup Socceroos squad member Matt McKay says the selection of four Hyundai A-League players for the January tournament in Qatar shows that regular playing time has become a key factor in national selection.

Brisbane Roar skipper McKay, the Gold Coast's Jason Culina, Melbourne Victory's Robbie Cruse and the Wellington Phoenix's Jade North, were all chosen in the 23-man squad.

Speaking with media at Ballymore after training with the Roar, McKay said on-field action would be an important determinant in team makeup under the reign of recently hired national boss Holger Osieck.

"He's watched all the A-League games and he knows all the players now and that's an important thing," said McKay.

"You're playing 90 minutes each week, the better players are guaranteed 90 minutes, and some players in Europe aren't doing that. So if we keep working hard in the A-League the chances will come for some players."

"You see the players that are selected now are the players that are playing regularly. That proves to boys that they have to be playing and they can't just sit on the bench each week and expect to be making the national team."

"The A-League provides that time, but you've got to be playing well in the A-League (as well)."

McKay's position in the squad comes with plenty of competition, and while his club coach, Ange Postecoglou, says on form he should be chosen to start, the tireless midfield isn't taking anything for granted.

Despite an ability to play from whistle to whistle with an unrelenting work rate, McKay says he'll be happy to contribute in any ways possible, as the Socceroos target a tournament win to make-up for their disappointing quarter-finals exit in their inaugural attempt back in 2007.

"It's a big achievement. I always planned to hopefully make the squad and now to be named in it, it's a big challenge for the whole squad to go there and win the Cup."

"I don't know about the starting 11, but we've got a friendly against the UAE, hopefully I'll get some minutes there and do my part."

"I definitely want to play some kind of part in the Asian Cup. It's a big event, behind the World Cup for Australia, and the Socceroos have ambitions to win the tournament."

"It's massive for Australian football if we can go on and win this Asian Cup. That opens up a lot more passes, to the Federations Cup and stuff like that. It'd definitely a huge tournament."

While McKay will be a popular inclusion for football fans in Queensland and Australia, former Roar sensation and current FC Utrecht fringe player Tommy Oar was a surprise exclusion.

"Tommy's a great player and he's going to be involved in the national team over the next 10 to 15 years. He's working his way through his club FC Utrecht and hasn't become a regular yet, but will do, so he'll bide his time and he's a great player and one for the future," said McKay.