Aussie youngsters keen to impress
Kilmarnock youngster Jackson Irvine is hoping to make an impression as he goes on tour with Australia's national team for the first time.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who captained the Young Socceroos at the Under 20 World Cup in Turkey, is among nine players under 25 who will be assessed by Australian head coach Holger Osieck in friendlies against France and Canada.
Osieck is under pressure to oversee two strong performances after Australia were annihilated 6-0 by Brazil in September.
With qualification to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil assured for the Socceroos, Irvine was delighted to be given the opportunity to put his case forward to feature on football's biggest international stage.
"It's going to be a great experience I'm really looking forward to it," said Irvine, who is on-loan at Kilmarnock for the season from Scottish giants Celtic.
"It's a very nice surprise and wasn't really something I was expecting so I'm just going to look to make the most out of it.
"There are so many boys that are in their very early twenties and even younger still that haven't quite been given the chance for the first team yet but I'm sure they will eventually."
One of those players is Luzern's Oliver Bozanic, who has taken the Swiss Super League by storm, scoring five goals in 11 appearances and winning the competition's player of the month in August.
Bozanic signed with Luzern before the 2013/14 season from A-League champions Central Coast Mariners.
The 24-year-old midfielder, who has been part of a Socceroos squad before without making his senior debut, hopes to earn his maiden cap this time around.
"I have loved playing in all the (Socceroos) junior teams and been here once before but I wasn't able to get on the pitch, so to get on the pitch would be unbelievable for me and I'm looking forward to the opportunity," Bozanic said.
"Obviously it's going to be a tough game (against France), they're one of the top teams in Europe and the world and I think all the boys are looking forward to it."
After meeting France in Paris on Friday, the Socceroos make the trip across the Channel to face Canada in London four days later.