Here is the initial 50-man squad chosen by Socceroos coach Holger Osieck for next month’s Asian Cup tournament in Qatar.
Preliminary Socceroos squad: Adam Federici, Bradley Jones, Eugene Galekovic, Mark Schwarzer, Mitchell Langerak, Nathan Coe, Michael Theoklitos, Adrian Madaschi, Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, David Carney, Jason Davidson, Luke Devere, Ersan Gulum, Jonathan Mckain, Lucas Neill, Luke Wilkshire, Michael Thwaite, Michael Beauchamp, Jade North, Sasa Ognenovski, Matthew Spiranovic, Matthew Thompson, Adam Sarota, Brett Emerton, Brett Holman, Carl Valeri, Christopher Herd, Harry Kewell, Jason Culina, Benjamin Kantarovski, Neil Kilkenny, Matthew McKay, Mile Jedinak, Aaron Mooy, Oliver Bozanic, Richard Garcia, Thomas Oar, Dario Vidosic, David Williams, Archie Thompson, Alex Brosque, Joel Griffiths, Joshua Kennedy, Brent McGrath, Nathan Burns, Nikita Rukavytsya, Robbie Kruse, Ryan Griffiths, Scott McDonald, Tim Cahill.
Jason Davidson is the son of former Socceroo Alan Davidson. Jason is playing in Portugal.
Alan Davidson was involved in an amazing incident in the 1980s when the senior Socceroos played their one and only game in Tasmania - at KGV Park.
He swallowed his tongue and spent the night in the Royal Hobart Hospital. Team officials begged the local media to keep the incident quiet as they did not want to jeopardise Davidson’s chances of joining Nottingham Forest.
I buried references to the incident deep in my match report for Melbourne’s “Soccer Action" and got a pasting from the editor, the late Laurie Schwab, who felt it should have been headline news.
Chris Herd is another interesting inclusion. Raised in Perth, he recently made his debut in the English Premier League with Aston Villa.
Injury doubts surround Josh Kennedy and Archie Thompson and Socceroo fans will be hoping they pass muster.
Who is Ersun Gulum, you may well ask?
He was born in Australia and plays for Besiktas in Turkey. Turkey coach Guus Hidding called him up for Turkey’s recent game against The Netherlands but he was not used, so he is still eligible for the Socceroos.
Let’s just hope that Tim Cahill is available after the frenetic Christmas program in the UK.
He is in magnificent form, as he showed in Everton’s win against Manchester City, when he scored the opener and made the second in a 2-1 win for the Toffees.
What are your thoughts about the squad?