McGowan brothers named in Australia squad

Dylan McGowan, left, hopes to play beside brother Ryan for Australia
Dylan McGowan, left, hopes to play beside brother Ryan for Australia
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Former Hearts defenders Ryan and Dylan McGowan are aiming for a career-defining moment by playing together for Australia next month.

The brothers have been named in the same international squad for the first time as the Socceroos prepare to face Saudi Arabia in a World Cup qualifier on June 8. The game takes place in their native Adelaide and, if they impress, they could make the final 23-man group for next month's Confederations Cup in Russia.

Ryan, 27, holds 18 caps but will now welcome younger sibling Dylan, into a provisional 30-man squad. Dylan recently moved from Adelaide United to the Portuguese club Pacos de Ferreira, while Ryan is with Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng in China.

Both players left Adelaide in their teens to join Hearts and played together in the first team at Tynecastle during the 2012/13 season. They are now looking to emulate that feat with their country and become the first brothers to represent Australia since Adam and Joel Griffiths in 2008.

"Any player will tell you that playing for the national team is the biggest moment and the best thing they can do," said Dylan. “As brothers, to do it would be extra special. It was a bit of a surprise to get the call-up but I was over the moon to get it. With the game being in Adelaide, it all adds to the story."

Dylan was en route to Portugal when he got the call from Ange Postecoglou, the Australia national coach. "I had a few missed calls from the Socceroos team manager and about ten missed calls from my brother, so I thought something must be up,” he told Adelaidenow.com.au.

"Ryan said congratulations and that I deserved the call-up. I’m just happy that I’m on the radar and it’s given me something to push towards in my next career move in Portugal.

"There’s still obviously another big cut to come before a ball is kicked, so we’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves. I’m just really excited and looking forward to hopefully getting an opportunity to train with the team and to test myself at that level."