A complete profile of the Australian squad set to face England next week
A complete profile of the Australian squad set to face England at Upton Park next week
Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough)
Born 06.10.72, 19 caps
Mark burst onto the senior international scene when his two penalty shoot-out saves eliminated Canada from the 1994 World Cup Qualifiers. After winning a League championship medal with Marconi and the Goalkeeper of the Year accolade at the end of the 1993-94 season, he moved to Germany and served Kaiserslautern and Dynamo Dresden before commencing his English career at Bradford City. He has thrived with 'Boro and now ranks amongst the Premiership's top shot-stoppers.
Zeljko Kalac (Perugia - Italy)
Born 16.12.72, 38 caps
Now back playing first team football at Perugia, Zeljko has experienced a rollercoaster career in Europe. The 6' 7" custodian, nicknamed "Spider", had his hopes of establishing himself in England ruined by failing to secure a work permit, despite making senior appearances for Leicester City. International commitments then reduced his opportunities in Holland with Roda J. C., but this Sydney United product was still able to graduate into Serie A. He featured in Perugia's recent Italian Cup victory over Juventus.
Kevin Muscat (Rangers)
Born 07.08.73, 37 caps
Following an appearance in the 1993 World Youth Cup semi-finals and, having already clocked-up Australian League outings with Sunshine George Cross, South Melbourne and Heidelberg United, Bolton native Kevin decided to try his luck in the land of his birth. He proved his mettle at Crystal Palace and Wolves before arriving at Ibrox last year. He is an integral member of the Australian rearguard.
Shaun Murphy (Sheffield United)
Born 05.11.70, 18 caps
A wholehearted defender, Shaun did not make his Socceroos debut until the age of 29, despite numerous able performances at Youth and intermediate international levels. Notts County secured his signature after he featured in the 1992 Olympics semi-final. He also served West Brom before becoming a Blade. Blacktown City, Perth Italia and Heidelberg United were his Australian clubs.
Craig Moore (Rangers)
Born 12.12.75, 20 caps
Craig starred at the 1993 World Youth Cup, then immediately flew to Scotland as a 17-year-old without a single senior game to his name. He cemented a place in the Rangers senior squad within a year and has been there ever since - apart from six months at Crystal Palace - winning a string of honours. Craig is equally at home as a stopper, right back or central defender. After a hesitant start to his international career, his is now one of the first names on Frank Farina's team sheet.
Tony Vidmar (Middlesbrough)
Born 04.07.70, 53 caps
A dependable performer at international level for over a decade. Tony won domestic honours with Adelaide City prior to pursuing greater glory at Germinal Ekeren (Belgium) and NAC Breda (Holland), but it was with Glasgow Rangers that he really proved his worth. A transfer to Middlesbrough has given him a new lease of life and the opportunity to prove his ability in the Premiership. His older brother Aurelio, also an Australian international, is a past Belgian League top scorer.
Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace)
Born 04.07.73, 39 caps
Making his Australian League debut at 16, Tony remained with Sydney United through eight seasons, winning the 1994-95 Player of the Year accolade before gaining his initial experience of football overseas with Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japan). A Palace Eagle since 2001, he can claim caps at Under-17, Under-20, Olympic and 'A' levels and he played in the third place play-off at both the 1991 World Youth Cup and the 1992 Olympics.
Lucas Neill (Blackburn Rovers)
Born 09.03.78, 2 caps
Lucas quickly showed himself worthy of Premier League status after moving to Blackburn from Millwall last year for £1 million. An uncompromising defender, who made his name in midfield, he is expected to return to the Socceroos fold this evening after an absence of almost four years. Like many other squad members, Lucas is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Sport.
Paul Okon (Leeds United)
Born 05.04.72, 24 caps
Australia's first choice captain, Paul experienced mixed fortunes in Europe after winning a League champions' medal and two Under-21 Player of the Year awards in Marconi colours. He picked up a Belgian League title and Player of the Year award with FC Bruges, although his time in Italy (with Lazio and Fiorentina) and England (at Middlesbrough, Watford and Leeds United) has been marred by injuries and periods on the subs' bench. However, he has performed superbly for Australia - both as a sweeper and linkman - in the World Youth Cup, Confederations Cup, Olympics and friendly internationals.
Ljubo Milicevic (Basle - Switzerland)
Born 13.02.81, 0 caps
Highly rated sweeper, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday tomorrow, Ljubo is making waves in Switzerland despite suffering more than his fair share of injuries. He joined Basle from Perth Glory two years ago and is now tipped to captain Australia at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Hayden Foxe (Portsmouth)
Born 23.06.77, 10 caps
Just 18 when engaged by Dutch giants Ajax, Hayden also wore the colours of Arminia Bielefeld in Germany and Japan's Sanfrecce Hiroshima before joining West Ham two years ago. His progress has been stalled by injuries and work permit problems, but he is now thriving at Pompey and coming close to fulfilling the immense potential he displayed as a teenager.
Brett Emerton (Feyenoord - Holland)
Born 22.01.79, 21 caps
The inability to secure a work permit denied Brett the opportunity to sign for Leeds when he trialled at Elland Road with Harry Kewell in '95. Five years later, Feyenoord introduced him to European football and he played a major role in the Dutch club's 2001-02 UEFA Cup triumph. This gifted linkman captured the 1997-98 Australian Under-21 Player of the Year prize with Sydney Olympic.
Steve Corica (Walsall)
Born 24.03.73, 31 caps
From the tropical north of Queensland, Steve became the first player to represent Australia at Schoolboy, Under-16, Youth, Olympic and senior levels. He was signed by Leicester City in 1995, having won a League champions' medal and an Under-21 Player of the Year trophy with Marconi. Stints at Wolves and Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japan) followed, before Colin Lee secured him for the Saddlers last year.
Josip Skoko (Racing Genk - Belgium)
Born 10.12.75, 23 caps
Josip made a huge impact in the Croatian First Division upon joining Hajduk Split from Victorian State League minnows North Geelong in 1995. He attracted attention from Bologna and Sampdoria, but surprisingly opted for Racing Genk and is now acknowledged as one of the most creative linkmen in Belgium.
Stan Lazaridis (Birmingham City)
Born 15.08.72, 44 caps
A physical education student when on the books of his Australian clubs, Perth Italia and West Adelaide, Stan became a full time professional with West Ham in 1995. Converted from an overlapping full-back to midfielder after transferring to Birmingham, he played no small part in the Blues' elevation to the Premier League last season.
Harry Kewell (Leeds United)
Born 22.09.78, 12 caps
Harry arrived in England in 1995, under the New South Wales Soccer Federation's Big Brother Scheme which annually provides opportunities for the state's most promising young players to trial with leading English clubs. He was snapped up by Leeds and rapidly established himself among Europe's most exciting young stars. One of the few Australians to enhance their reputations in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers, he will be the man Farina builds his side around for 2006.
Danny Tiatto (Manchester City)
Born 22.05.73, 19 caps
Danny helped Melbourne Knights win an Australian Championship in his first year of senior football, prior to embarking on a European career, serving his apprenticeship with Salernitana (Italy) and Baden (Switzerland). Stoke City introduced him to the English scene and Manchester City provided a route into the Premiership.
John Aloisi (Osasuna - Spain)
Born 05.02.76, 24 caps
A much-travelled striker, John has the rare distinction of having appeared in the English Premier League, Italy's Serie A and the Primera Liga of Spain. His previous clubs include Adelaide City, Royal Antwerp, Standard Liege, Portsmouth, Coventry City and Cremonese. A robust striker, he has made life difficult for many world class defenders. His brother Ross is also a Socceroo.
Mark Viduka (Leeds United)
Born 09.10.75, 19 caps
Mark won League Championship medals, Under-21 Player of the Year, Leading Goalscorer and Player of the Year awards in both of his last two seasons with Melbourne Knights. He then joined Croatia Zagreb (rather than Middlesbrough or Borussia Dortmund) at the behest of then Croatian state president Franjo Tudjman. Viduka gained a string of further honours with Zagreb and Celtic before joining Leeds, where he continues to shine in the Premiership.
Mile Sterjovski (Lille - France)
Born 27.05.79, 3 caps
Quicksilver striker Mile improved in leaps and bounds during his initial two seasons in France, but now seems destined for a move to FC Copenhagen. He was named 1998-99 Under-21 Player of the Year with Sydney United. Parramatta Power and Wollongong Wolves were his other Australian clubs.
David Zdrilic (Walsall)
Born 13.04.74, Caps 22
Before arriving in the Midlands, David played for Sydney United, FC Aarau (Switzerland), SpVgg Unterhaching and SV Ulm (both Germany). Although slightly built for a striker, he has accumulated an impressive 18 goals at full international level, including eight in one match against American Samoa two years ago. He was the Australian League's leading striker in 1996-97.
Compiled by Paul Moon