Phoenix pair thrilled with call-up

Jon McKain believes his recall to the Australian squad and Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante's call-up is proof that plying their trade in New Zealand is no barrier to international honours.

Jon McKain believes his recall to the Australian squad and Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante's call-up is proof that plying their trade in New Zealand is no barrier to international honours.

McKain, who has not played for the Qantas Socceroos since 2006, and Durante have been selected in Pim Verbeek's 25-man squad for the Asian Cup qualifier against Indonesia on March 3 in Brisbane.

Their selection comes on the back of a stellar Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season in which the solid defensive pairing have helped Wellington Phoenix to its first play-offs.

"We're playing well and people are taking notice. I think it's a big statement to the league. Even us so-called 'Aussie rejects' are getting attention," said McKain.

The 28-year-old, who has made 12 appearances for the Qantas Socceroos, admitted his selection had still come as a surprise despite his good form.

"I've been concentrating on playing well for the Phoenix, so this is a bonus," he said.

"I've worked on getting back into the starting XI and the whole team's on a good run."

"For the first time since I've been in Wellington I'm completely injury-free, there are no little niggles, and I'm playing in my preferred position."

Durante, 27, has been involved in Verbeek's World Cup training squad in the past but is yet to make his full senior international debut.

"I've been part of a training camp before so I know what to expect. That means I'll probably be a little more relaxed and be able to push my chances for South Africa," the Wellington captain said.

"I've simply focused on playing well for the Phoenix each week and it's nice to be rewarded."

"When I came to Wellington people said my international chances would be dead and buried. I've never believed that, I never saw joining the Phoenix as a disadvantage and this is proof of that."