McKay picked to face Egypt

Brisbane Roar captain Matt McKay’s season is going from strength to strength, today being named in Holger Osieck’s Qantas Socceroos squad for next week’s friendly against Egypt in Cairo.

Brisbane Roar captain Matt McKay-s season is going from strength to strength, today being named in Holger Osieck-s Qantas Socceroos squad for next week-s friendly against Egypt in Cairo.

McKay is one of four Hyundai A-League players in the 20-player contingent, alongside Gold Coast-s Jason Culina and Michael Thwaite and Jade North of Wellington Phoenix.

With five national side caps already to his name, including one against Paraguay in on 9 October, McKay was visibly pleased to have another chance to impress the new Australia mentor.

“I-m very proud, it-s a good showing on our club with the form we-ve had in the last couple of weeks so I-m really happy to be involved and hopefully get some minutes over in Egypt,” he said.

“It-s a new set-up with Holger in, and from all reports and from the time I-ve spent in there, he-s done a great job.

“It-ll only be a couple of days of preparation but all the Socceroos boys are used to that.

“We-ll work hard in those few days before and hopefully get the right result against Egypt.”

With the AFC Asian Cup fast approaching, McKay was confident he could do well enough in Egypt to ensure he would be part of the Qatar-bound squad in January but said his focus was on taking advantage of the opportunity in front of him now.

“I just want to enjoy myself, it-s a great opportunity and I-ve never been to Africa before,” he said.

“I-ll enjoy that but it-s one of two practice games before the Asian Cup so it-ll be very important for selections and for the style of play as well.”

Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou was full of praise for his skipper, saying he knew McKay had the passion, skill and determination to become a regular part of the Qantas Socceroos line-up.

“It-s fantastic, great for him and great for the club and again, great vindication for his outstanding form that he-s had this year,” he said.

“I said at the start of the year that I thought Matty had the ability to be one of the influential players in the A-League, I think he-s that now.

“Now his next step, I think he-s capable of getting a first team spot in a Socceroos team.

“I don-t say that lightly, I know what-s required to play at that level and I just see it in him that he can push for a starting spot in our strongest Socceroo team.”

Socceroos squad: Tim CAHILL (Everton FC, England), David CARNEY (Blackpool FC, England), Nathan COE (gk) (Sonderjysk Elitesport, Denmark), Jason CULINA (Gold Coast United, A-League), Brett EMERTON (Blackburn, England), Richard GARCIA (Hull City FC, England), Brett HOLMAN (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands), Mile JEDINAK (Genclerbirligi SK, Turkey), Josh KENNEDY (Nagoya Grampus, Japan), Harry KEWELL (Galatasaray SK, Turkey), Scott McDONALD (Middlesbrough FC, England), Matt McKAY (Brisbane Roar, A-League), Lucas NEILL (Galatasaray SK, Turkey), Jade NORTH (Wellington Phoenix, A-League), Sasa OGNENOVSKI (Seongnam Ilhwa, Korea Republic), Mark SCHWARZER (gk) (Fulham FC, England), Michael THWAITE (Gold Coast United, A-League), Carl VALERI (U.S. Sassuolo Calcio, Italy), Dario VIDOSIC (FC Nurnberg, Germany), Luke WILKSHIRE (FK Dinamo Moscow, Russia).

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