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Dublin: 18 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2019
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Socceroos call-up for Aussie-born midfielder whose parents hail from Dublin

Brandon O’Neill registered on Ireland’s radar during Martin O’Neill’s tenure as national team manager.

Brandon O'Neill celebrates after scoring in the penalty shootout as Sydney FC defeated Perth Glory in last weekend's A-League Grand Final.
Brandon O'Neill celebrates after scoring in the penalty shootout as Sydney FC defeated Perth Glory in last weekend's A-League Grand Final.
Image: AAP/PA Images

BRANDON O’NEILL IS one of six new faces included in the Australia senior squad for a friendly against South Korea on 7 June.

O’Neill’s first Socceroos call-up comes just days after he won his second A-League title with Sydney FC, who overcame Perth Glory in last weekend’s Grand Final.

The left-footed defensive midfielder, who turned 25 last month, holds an Irish passport, having been born in Perth to parents from Dublin.

He registered on the Republic of Ireland’s radar during Martin O’Neill’s tenure, with the former manager vowing last year to keep tabs on his namesake, who has already represented Australia at U23 level.

“Obviously I was born here but I’ve spent a bit of time back in Ireland with family, friends and relatives,” O’Neill told Sydney FC’s YouTube channel as he reacted to his call-up.

“I always said that between Australia and Ireland, if I was ever to be called up by either, firstly I’d just have to sit down and really think about what has actually just happened. For just a normal lad coming from Perth, this is a huge thing.”

Source: Sydney FC/YouTube

O’Neill scored from the penalty spot as Sydney FC clinched the A-League title on Sunday via a shootout against a Perth Glory side which included former Ireland international Andy Keogh. 

He added: “I’ve grown up here. I’ve played all my football here. I’ve won a couple of Grand Finals here. The lads who I train with week-in-week-out are in the [Australia] camp.

“To be able to play your football here, grow up here, go through the whole system here, play for such a great club in Sydney FC and then cap it off by being called up by your country, it probably won’t sink in until after the camp that it has happened. I’m just extremely grateful.”

Socceroos squad (v South Korea): Mustafa Amini (Aarhus), Terry Antonis (Melbourne Victory), Aziz Behich (PSV Eindhoven), Brandon Borrello (SC Freiburg), Joshua Brillante (Sydney FC), Thomas Deng (Melbourne Victory), Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United), Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC), Chris Ikonomidis (Perth Glory), James Jeggo (Austria Wien), Matthew Jurman (Al-Ittihad), Mitch Langerak (Nagoya Grampus), Awer Mabil (FC Midtjylland), Brandon O’Neill (Sydney FC), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Andrew Redmayne (Sydney FC), Brad Smith (Seattle Sounders), Harry Souttar (Stoke City), Matthew Spiranovic (Perth Glory), Adam Taggart (Suwon Bluewings), Lawrence Thomas (Melbourne Victory), Rhys Williams (Al-Qadsiah), Ryan Williams (Rotherham United), Bailey Wright (Bristol City). 

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Paul Dollery

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