Time to test Socceroos depth: Arnold

Head coach Graham Arnold is confident in predicting a bright future for the Socceroos.
Head coach Graham Arnold is confident in predicting a bright future for the Socceroos.

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold says it's time to test the depth of Australian football.

Arnold believes a largely inexperienced squad for next Friday's away friendly against South Korea will be vital in the next World Cup qualifying campaign.

"We don't want to rely on the same 14, 15 players over the next four years, which we pretty much have done for the last number of years," Arnold said on Friday.

The Socceroos' 24-strong squad for the Korean friendly features six players yet to win a senior international cap and just five players with more than 10 caps.

"In the past number of years, we have had pretty much a very settled squad of players," Arnold said.

"But this is an opportunity for all these players who have been doing well in club land ... they come into this camp with a great desire and energy to impress.

"I truly believe to be the greatest Socceroos team in history, we need depth.

"And to create a healthy environment, we need players to push each other for positions and to make my job extremely tough to pick 23 players."

Arnold said since taking the Socceroos head coaching role after last year's World Cup in July, he had scouted between 60 and 70 Australian players.

"I truly believe there is great depth," he said.

"And some great individual players that will make the team and the squad extremely strong going into this World Cup campaign which starts in September.

"I have a great amount of belief and confidence in these boys."

But Arnold won't be giving away international caps for the sake of it.

"I respect the badge and I respect the honour of playing for the Socceroos more than anyone," he said.

"And the boys have to deserve and earn those caps.

"We have got number of experienced players here as well as younger players.

"The whole purpose of this game is if we lose our whole frontline again like we did at the Asian Cup (last January), that we will have the depth and the quality to replace that through the World Cup qualifiers."

Australian Associated Press