Shandon Luneng defender Ryan McGowan acknowledges there are some great senior role models in the Australian squad.
The former Heart of Midlothian man, who is now plying trade in China, is preparing for next week’s World Cup qualifier against Oman and is feeling confident alongside the likes of Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, New York Red Bull ace Tim Cahill and Aston Villa midfielder Brett Holman.
However, McGowan admits the absence of suspended captain Lucas Neill has slightly taken away from his own preparation.
“We’ve got a lot of role models still in the squad – Schwarzer, Cahill, Holman – those players have been there and done that, played in the World Cup,” McGowan said.
“But as a defender myself, I always liked it when Lucas was in the squads and you could sort of pick his brains at training and learn and see how he goes about his business.
“Plus he’s the captain and a very good leader and someone who is very well respected among the playing group. With him being out it’s a little bit different but another opportunity for someone to try and grab.”
But McGowan also sees Neill’s suspension as a great chance to push for a start in the Group B qualifier in Sydney.
“It’s been well publicised that (Neill’s) not going to be playing and that there’s spots up for grabs,” he added.
“It will be up to the players in those positions to impress in training and try and get a starting spot.”