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'We won't be afraid' to play McGree - Postecoglou

Goal.com logo Goal.com 14-03-2017

Having included Riley McGree in his 23-man squad for this month's World Cup qualifiers, Ange Postecoglou has indicated he's ready to give the teenager his Socceroos debut.

The Socceroos boss insisted McGree hadn't been a token selection when he announced his extended squad last week and was true to his word on Tuesday, picking the 18-year-old midfielder for Australia's key games against Iraq and United Arab Emirates on March 23 and 28, respectively.

McGree had played just one A-League match before this season but as a rare shining light in Adelaide United's dreadful campaign, he is now on the verge of a senior international debut.

"If he does well at training, he could play. If he looks like he's adjusted well in training and looks bright, we won't be afraid to throw him in, either," Postecoglou said.

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Who is Riley McGree?

McGree has made 15 appearances for Adelaide in all competitions in 2016-17 and has impressed Postecoglou in a variety of midfield roles, including covering for injured defensive midfielder Isaias.

"We haven't had in the A-League too many teenagers even getting a run these days. I thought he looked exciting from the moment he broke into the team," Australia's coach said.

"I really like the way he's adjusted to playing in an unfamiliar position against some pretty good opponents. He's played [AFC] Champions League and A-League.

"He's just someone I want to have a look at.

"This is the best time for me to have a look at him in this environment. Our next game's not until June and the A-League would have well and truly finished by then."

McGree included in final Socceroos squad

McGree's rapid rise should inspire other promising young Australian players, with Postecoglou insisting age barely plays a role when he's picking a squad.

"I've never felt like I've needed to sit on these things. I've always felt if there's somebody there that's got something I want to have a look at, I'll bring them in," he said.

"I'm not going to wait. I think in the past we've just waiting too long, particularly with some of our younger players.

Postecoglou confident of Cahill's impact

"We'll give him [McGree] an opportunity and see how he adapts to the environment. If it proves to be a good move, he could be an exciting one for us in years to come."

McGree is set to be in action in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday night when Adelaide United host Jeju United.

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