McKay named in Qantas Socceroos
Brisbane Roar captain Matt McKay’s impressive form in the Hyundai A-League season has seen him named in the Qantas Socceroos squad for the upcoming international friendly against Paraguay on 9 October.
Brisbane Roar captain Matt McKay-s impressive form in the Hyundai A-League season has seen him being named in the Qantas Socceroos squad for the upcoming international friendly against Paraguay on 9 October.
The 19-player squad features five other Hyundai A-League players, as well as the likes European-based Socceroos including Tim Cahill, Lucas Neill and Harry Kewell.
Hoping to add to the four national team appearances currently under his belt, McKay said he wanted to make sure he made the most of the chance given to him by new Qantas Socceroos head coach Holger Osieck.
“It-s a bit of a surprise, and with the guys coming back now, it-s a fairly full strength side,” he said.
“I-m glad to have an opportunity and want to make the most out of it, get into camp and do well.
“With the new management coming in, a whole lot of things change, different ideas and I-m glad to be given this opportunity.”
An instrumental part of Brisbane-s midfield area, McKay already has one goal to his name this season as well as providing two assists for the Roar, who currently sit in second place on the competition ladder.
The Brisbane-born midfielder was appreciative of the opportunity given to the Australian-based players by Osieck, saying it will open up the door for more Hyundai A-League players to play a role in the future of the national side.
“The coach has said he-ll reward players no matter where they play, and in the A-League we-re playing regular matches and not every player overseas is doing that,” he said.
“He-s come to two of our games now which is great, and he-s going to watch all the A-League teams which is great for the Aussie boys because it gives everyone an opportunity to perform each week.
“If we can prove ourselves, more (A-League) boys will be a part of it in the future.
“It-s a good league, playing-wise it-s always improving and I-m proud to be a part of it.”
While admitting he has enjoyed his personal run of form in the league, McKay attributed part of his selection to success to the whole Brisbane Roar squad.
“I thought my start to be season has been good,” he said.
“The team is doing well and that-s the important thing because if the team is doing well, the players in that team will do well.
“There-s not one player in our team that hasn-t played well in the last couple of weeks.”
With the AFC Asian Cup looming on the horizon, this Qantas Socceroos inclusion for McKay is a chance for him impress the new coaching staff and ensure he-s part of the squad headed for Qatar in January next year.
“The Asian Cup is pretty close and I-d love to be a part of that,” he said.
“I-ll keep working hard with my club and do my best, and hopefully there will be some opportunities there.
“Obviously, it-s going to be a full strength team with all the European boys coming back, there won-t be too many spots for us A-League players, but we-ll work hard and see what happens.
“As the group moves on, there will be a change and it will open it up for the European youngsters as well as the A-League boys come into the mix.”
The Qantas Socceroos have previously faced Paraguay on four occasions, which has resulted in three draws and one victory for Australia.