MELBOURNE - Australia are all set for their qualifying campaign for a third successive appearance at the World Cup finals with friendlies proving they have found strength in depth, according to captain Lucas Neill.
Neill shrugged off a groin problem to lead a Socceroos team shorn of some of best players to a 0-0 draw against Serbia on Tuesday after sitting out a 3-0 win over neighbours New Zealand two days earlier.
In the absence of big names like Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell and Mark Schwarzer, lesser known players like goalkeeper Adam Federici, left back Michael Zullo and left winger James Troisi proved they were up to playing international football.
Neill, who like the other players of Australia's golden generation is now the wrong side of 30, was reassured by the performance of his younger team mates throughout both matches.
"Not only are we ready, we've got a nice deep 25 to 30 players that you could throw in at any stage and they would be ready and put on a good performance for Australia," Neill told reporters after the Serbia match.
"It's going to be tough, and we're probably going to need all 25 or 30 players. It's good to have them now getting game time against decent opposition."
Coach Holger Osieck held a training camp in Duisburg before his team's 2-1 win over Germany in March to give European-based players a chance to get themselves into the international reckoning.
The German, who took over last year, said his hunt for fresh talent would continue.
"We are not at the end of the road," he told reporters.
"We are enlarging our squad. We have definitely already a couple more players who can really play for the Socceroos and that is really very positive."
The Socceroos open their campaign to reach a fourth World Cup finals in Brazil in 2014 in the third round of Asian qualifying in early September.comments