SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Australia coach Holger Osieck Friday said he was confident of luring the Socceroos' top players to play in January's Asian Cup, despite mid-season European club commitments.
The German said he had sounded out Australia's foreign-based players during recent friendlies in Switzerland and Poland, and was pleased with the response.
"I'm pretty confident, because the response of the players was very important to me and they really showed clearly that they wanted to be (at the Asian Cup in Qatar)," Osieck said.
"So far I've talked to some of the players, even a couple who have not been available for the two matches so far, and there was definitely a readiness to be involved, to be part of it.
"We have to consider it's four months away and a lot of things can happen... but the basic commitment was obvious."
Australia are among the favourites for the title as Asia's top-ranked team, but are likely to rely heavily on England-based Tim Cahill, Mark Schwarzer and Brett Emerton, as well as Galatasaray duo Harry Kewell and Lucas Neill.
Osieck also said he was hoping to persuade the big guns to make the long trip home for a friendly against Paraguay in Sydney on October 9, but added that he was also taking a close look at home-based A-League players.
Osieck, Franz Beckenbauer's assistant for Germany's 1990 World Cup win, took over in August with a brief to rejuvenate Australia's ageing team. --AFP