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Maclaren, Oar tipped for World Cup

Coach John Aloisi reckons striker Jamie Maclaren should stay with Brisbane until the 2018 World Cup.
Maclaren, Oar tipped for World Cup
Photo Source: AAP

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Brisbane coach John Aloisi claims Jamie Maclaren and Tommy Oar will earn Socceroos call-ups for the 2018 World Cup if they play to their potential in the A-League.

The Roar duo are hovering on the periphery of the national set-up but face stiff competition to force their way back into coach Ange Postecoglou's ever-improving squad, should they qualify for Russia 2018.

Maclaren was handed his first Socceroos cap in a 2-1 friendly loss to England in June after scoring 20 goals in last season's breakout campaign.

The 23-year-old striker led a two-pronged attack alongside Robbie Kruse on starting debut in Sunderland.

But he's yet to receive a recall, with Postecoglou so far preferring Tomi Juric, Tim Cahill and Apostolos Giannou in the final phase of World Cup qualifying.

For Oar it's been nearly a year between drinks, a former Socceroos regular who fell down the pecking order and hasn't featured since last November's first-stage World Cup qualifying win over Bangladesh.

But at 24, the speedy winger is in his prime and in an ideal environment to reboot his international career in time for Russia.

A full pre-season at Brisbane should provide the stability to thrive after last year's six joyless and injury-riddled months with English Championship side Ipswich Town.

Oar's depth of experience in two World Cups and two Asian Cups would be attractive to Postecoglou, and both he and Maclaren have a golden opportunity to impress as part of a Roar squad also featuring former Socceroo Brett Holman.

The key for the pair will be getting consistent minutes, starting against Melbourne Victory in next Friday's season-opener.

Aloisi believed the pair could make it happen.

"Jamie Maclaren and Tommy Oar will definitely be pushing hard for the World Cup," Aloisi told AAP.

"That's something they shouldn't really focus on - they should just focus on performing well with Brisbane and working hard in training.

"But if they do perform the way we know they can, I think they will get selected for 2018.

"I think they're players Ange likes. Maclaren can score goals, we know that.

"And Tommy is dynamic. He finds really good areas on the pitch but he's very direct when he gets the ball and runs at players."

Aloisi felt the A-League was becoming a more and more valuable talent pool for Postecoglou to draw from, with the return of past and present Socceroos including Melbourne City recruit Tim Cahill further lifting the competition's profile and quality.

The Socceroos play their next World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia in Jeddah on October 7 before taking on arch-rivals Japan in Melbourne on October 11.

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