TOP STORY Socceroo coach Holger Osieck has stressed Sasa Ognenovski’s ability to scare opponents but admitted he’s not yet seen the Seongnam Ilhwa defender live.
Ognenovski, 31, received his first Socceroo call-up for the November 17 friendly with Egypt in Cairo.
With this the team's penultimate friendly before January's Asian Cup if offers Ognenovski a golden opportunity to finally cement his spot in the green and gold.
After what Osieck described as a positive conversation over the phone with the former Brisbane Roar and Adelaide defender Ognenovski now gets his chance to impress ahead of the continental showpiece in Qatar.
"Over the last couple of months he really performed well. We got our reports from a pretty good network in Asia and I got excellent reports about him. So I thought it was time to give him his opportunity and I'll have a good look at him when he joins our group," Osieck said today at the squad's announcement.
Osieck has seen Ognenovski on TV only and spoken with the player over the phone. "It was a very pleasant conversation," the national coach said before paying tribute to the defender's physical capabilities.
"His presence is a very intimidating factor for the attacking team and it's always good to have somebody people are a bit scared of.
"And of course he's strong in the air and athletic and he is a very strong defender."
"We are definitely not sleeping, I can assure you of that," Osieck said of Australia's network of watchers across the world. "We have our eyes everywhere although we can't be everywhere physically."