Former Roar player set for Socceroos chance
FORMER Brisbane Roar youth team player Kenny Dougall looms as a bolter for the Socceroos' 2019 Asian Cup squad.
The uncapped 25-year-old midfielder, who recently joined English third-tier club Barnsley from Dutch outfit Sparta Rotterdam, has caught the attention of new national team coach Graham Arnold.
Dougall, who couldn't crack an A-League gig with the Roar, is set to be selected in a 30-man Socceroos training squad that will assemble under Arnold in Turkey next month.
"He's doing very well," Arnold said on Tuesday at the launch of the November 17 friendly between Australia and South Korea at Suncorp Stadium.
"I had my eye on him a little bit when I was coaching Sydney and he was at Sparta. He's a good young player.
"He's very good on the ball, his engines are good, he has a good pass. He's a good youngster and we have a lot of good youngsters coming through.
"The kids are coming. That's what we need and that's what we'll get."
Under Arnold's instructions, the Socceroos won't play a game in Turkey.
"It's more about getting the players together, telling the players what we expect from them, getting commitment from the players and introducing my new staff to the players and letting the boys enjoy their time together," he said.
"That's one thing that's underrated a fair bit, the word enjoyment. It's a tough gig but you're allowed to enjoy it.
"We've got to enjoy each other's time together and we have some good fun, some good banter and enjoy each other's company. When you do that you get those extra percentages on the field."
Arnold said he was still to have conversations with a host of experienced Socceroos about their international futures.
They include 33-year-old Mark Milligan, who has just joined former Roar striker Jamie Maclaren at Scottish club Hibernian.
"Millsy's happy and that's the most important thing. He's ticked a box mentally in his career ¬ to play in Europe. If that hadn't have happened, he may have felt he didn't succeed," Arnold said.
"He's done everything in the A-League, he's been to four World Cups, he's been to an Olympic Games and he nearly signed for Crystal Palace a few years ago.
"I've been speaking to him a lot, from two weeks ago, his voice on the phone compared to when he rang the other night to tell me that he signed for Hibs was very different. He was very happy."