Sport Trio recalled to Olyroos squad for friendly games
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Trio recalled to Olyroos squad for friendly games

Nathaniel Atkinson is one of the trio returning to the Olyroos fold. Photo: EPA
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A-League trio Nathaniel Atkinson, Lachie Wales and Brandon Wilson have been named in the Olyroos squad for two upcoming friendlies in Sydney, marking the end of their exile from international duties.

In November last year, Atkinson, Wales, Wilson and former Adelaide United midfielder Riley McGree were found guilty by FFA of unprofessional conduct after an incident involving a woman while they were on Olyroos duties in Cambodia in April 2019.

McGree, now at Birmingham City, was suspended from international duties until April 1 this year, while Atkinson (Melbourne City), Wales (now Western United) and Wilson (Perth Glory) were hit with longer bans through to August 10 – with all four players missing January’s AFC U-23 championship.

The suspensions originally ruled Wales, Atkinson and Wilson out of this year’s Olympics – before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Tokyo games to be postponed to 2021, opening the door for the trio to feature.

On Monday, Graham Arnold included all three in his 26-player squad for a camp and games against Sydney FC and Macarthur FC on November 12 and 17 respectively.

The nine-day camp is the first time the Olyroos have assembled since January.

“The next nine days and the forthcoming A-League season represents a fresh start and a great opportunity for all players to push their case for Olyroos selection in Tokyo,” Arnold said.

Due to travel restrictions, the squad is composed entirely of players at Australian clubs or Wellington Phoenix who are currently based in Wollongong.

Melbourne City’s Atkinson, Tom Glover, Connor Metcalfe and Aiden O’Neill and Western United’s Wales received exemptions to cross the Victoria-NSW border as the camp is in a “bubble” with strict coronavirus protocols, while players and staff only leave their hotel for training and the matches.

Those involved in Sydney FC and Perth Glory’s Asian Champions League campaigns in Qatar will depart after Tuesday’s game.

OLYROOS SQUAD: Nathaniel Atkinson, Keanu Baccus, Daniel Bouman, Cameron Devlin, Denis Genreau, Thomas Glover (GK), Tom Heward-Belle (GK), Luke Ivanovic, Joel King, John Koutroumbis, Joshua Laws, Connor Metcalfe, Tass Mourdoukoutas, Ramy Najjarine, Jordan O’Doherty, Aiden O’Neill, Connor O’Toole, Adam Pearce (GK), Reno Piscopo, Kye Rowles, Tate Russell, Nicholas Sorras (GK), Ryan Strain, Angus Thurgate, Lachlan Wales, Brandon Wilson.

-AAP