Brisbane trio called into Socceroos camp


Three Brisbane Roar players have been called into Holger Osiek’s extended 25-man provisional squad for next month’s East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) East Asian Cup 2013 qualifying tournament which will be held in Hong Kong.

Three Brisbane Roar players have been called into Holger Osiek-s extended 25-man provisional squad for next month-s East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) East Asian Cup 2013 qualifying tournament which will be held in Hong Kong.

Club captain Matt Smith, right-back Ivan Franjic and speedy youngster Ben Halloran have all been called into the squad which will gather in camp in Sydney.

The players will join the rest of the squad on Monday under the watchful eye of the Qantas Socceroos head coach, who will run the rule over the assembled players before trimming the squad to 20 for the Hong Kong tournament which runs from December 1-9.

For Smith the call-up comes just weeks after becoming eligible to represent his adopted country and after two seasons of stellar performances in the heart of the Brisbane defence.

Smith will enter his second training camp alongside Franjic, who joined his captain in a Qantas Socceroos camp for Hyundai A-League players in Sydney in October, 2011.

Franjic, who was plucked from Victorian Premier League side Oakleigh Cannons by Brisbane in 2009, has been one of the stand-out defenders of the league in his 75 appearances.

The attacking fullback said he was honoured to be called into the camp, but knew it was only the first step towards potentially making a full Socceroos debut.

“It-s very exciting to be going and hopefully I can make the final cut,” Franjic said.

“I-m definitely a lot more mature this time around and hopefully I can do enough to go to Hong Kong.

“With the squad still to be trimmed, I-ll just be working as hard as I can to show Holger and the assistant coaches that I have something to offer for the tournament.”

Halloran joined Brisbane at the start of the season, having previously played for former local rivals Gold Coast United.

The call-up caps off a memorable week for Halloran, who scored his first goal for the club in Friday-s 4-2 win over Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium.

The 20-year-old admitted the call from Socceroos management came as a little bit of a shock.

“The first reaction was surprise, I really didn-t expect to be called up,” Halloran said.

“But pretty quickly I felt honoured, as a young player you always aspire to be called up to these camps, it-s great to be recognised.

“Going into camp with Matt and Ivan will be a huge benefit, hopefully being with two really good team mates will make it a little less daunting and can help me make the final 20-man squad.

The Qantas Socceroos have been drawn against Chinese Taipei, Guam, North Korea and hosts Hong Kong.

The Australian team will kick-off its campaign against Hong Kong at Mong Kok Stadium on December 3.

Qantas Socceroos training camp squad: Terry ANTONIS (Sydney FC, Australia), Eli BABALJ (FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd, SERBIA), Aziz BEHICH (Melbourne Heart FC, Australia), Robert CORNTHWAITE(Chunnam Dragons, KOREA REPUBLIC), Dino DJULBIC (Guizhou Renhe, CHINA PR), Ivan FRANJIC (Brisbane Roar FC, Australia), Brett EMERTON (Sydney FC, Australia), Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (Adelaide United FC, Australia), Richard GARCIA (Melbourne Heart FC, Australia), Rostyn GRIFFITHS (Guangzhou R&F, CHINA PR), Ben HALLORAN (Brisbane Roar FC, Australia), Scott JAMIESON (Perth Glory FC, Australia), Osama MALIK (Adelaide United FC, Australia), Michael MARRONE (Melbourne Heart FC, Australia), Matt McKAY (Busan I Park, KOREA REPUBLIC), Mark MILLIGAN (Melbourne Victory FC, Australia), Aaron MOOY (Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia), Tom ROGIC (Central Coast Mariners FC, Australia), Mat RYAN (gk) (Central Coast Mariners FC, Australia), Matt SMITH (Brisbane Roar FC, Australia), Adam TAGGART (Newcastle Jets FC, Australia), Archie THOMPSON (Melbourne Victory FC, Australia), Michael THWAITE (Perth Glory FC, Australia), Dario Vidosic (Adelaide United FC, Australia), Luke WILKSHIRE (FK Dinamo Moscow, RUSSIA)