October 4 (Reuters) – Australia defender Aziz Behich relishes the increased competition within the Socceroos squad as the side under Graham Arnold continue their quest later this week for a place in the 2022 World Cup final .
The Australians, who are looking to advance to a fifth consecutive World Cup, will face Oman in Doha on Thursday before heading to Japan at Saitama Stadium on October 12 in the final round of matches of the FIFA Cup preliminaries. world in Asia.
Arnold’s side won their opener against China and Vietnam to sit level on points for the top of Group B alongside Saudi Arabia with only the top two certain to qualify for the final in Qatar.
“Right now we have a great squad,” said Behich, who is on course to win his 44th cap against the Omanis.
“I think we have a good mix of experience and a lot of young boys coming through the Olyroos which is great to see.
“They had a few good games at the Olympics and obviously working with Arnie I think they will only get better.”
Arnold led the Australian squad in the summer football tournament at the Olympics and sought to bring several young players into his roster.
Olyroos Harry Souttar, Riley McGree, Denis Genreau and Daniel Arzani have all been included in the Socceroos senior squad for the prelims.
“The competition is always healthy and at the end of the day we are all in the same boat and our main goal is to qualify for the World Cup,” said Behich.
“We push each other in every practice, all the players give 100%. Our main goal is as a nation, as a group of players, it’s just to get to this World Cup.”
Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Christopher Cushing
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.