Graham Arnold announced the highly-anticipted national team on Thursday, with a total of 27 players named in the extended Socceroos squad.
Among those is Sydney FC defender Ryan Grant who has earned himself a spot off-the-back of a string of quality performances in the A-League.
But speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Arnold jokingly admitted he “might have to fix that haircut before he (Grant) comes in”.
Graham Arnold had some hilarious advice for Rhyan Grant. Pic: Getty
Grant has performed well in the national league despite suffering a serious ACL injury last year.
The 27-year-old has become a cult hero of sorts for the Sky Blue, donning a blonde moustache with a flailing mullet haircut to match.
After Arnold joked about fixing his haircut, the Socceroos boss had nothing but praise for the wing-back.
“He was in the squad with Ange (Postecoglu) and he got their on cried and on how well he is doing,” Arnold said.
“The kid has come back enormously well after an ACL, it’s like he hasn’t missed a beat since I had him at Sydney.
“As I said, he’s a player that we want to look at closely.”
Arnold looks set to unleash a new-look attack in this month’s friendly with South Korea, with Jamie Maclaren and Martin Boyle bound for Brisbane as part of a 23-man squad announced on Thursday.
The pair, both based at Scottish club Hibernian with veteran Mark Milligan, are two eye-catching inclusions for the Asian Cup final rematch on November 17.
While four players – Goodwin, Melbourne Victory defender Thomas Deng, Sydney FC’s Rhyan Grant and Newcastle Jets attacker Dimitri Petratos – are train-on players.
Goodwin has made a spectacular start to the season for Adelaide United, scoring eight goals in seven games.
“He gives us something different as he’s really the only left-footed left winger we have,” Arnold said of Goodwin.
“Craig is a great example of work hard, perform well, play well in the A-League and you’ll get recognised and you’ll get rewarded.
“The message is clear for all the A-League players.
“I’ve been out and watched a lot of A-League games since I’ve been back and I think the standard has been fantastic.
“They will be watched and watched carefully.”
Goodwin is the first Aussie to feature in FIFA 19’s Ultimate Team of the Week. Pic: Getty/Twitter
Japan-based forward Andrew Nabbout will also return to the fold after the breakout striker suffered a shoulder dislocation at the World Cup.
“It’s a squad that was pretty hard to pick … the pool is definitely getting deeper and deeper,” Arnold said.
“With limited opportunities and matches to prepare for next year’s AFC Asian Cup it is important that we make the most of every day that we have together.”
Several players have dropped out of the reckoning from Australia’s most recent friendly, a 4-0 defeat of Kuwait last month.
Brad Jones, Denis Genreau and Apostolos Giannou have missed call-ups; Daniel Arzani is out with a season-ending knee injury and Kenny Dougall is unlikely to make January’s Asian Cup after a serious ankle issue.