Socceroos call up teenager Garang Kuol for World Cup warmups

Australia coach Graham Arnold called up Garang Kuol into an extended squad for two friendlies against New Zealand on Wednesday, promising to give the teen sensation a shot at booking a ticket to the World Cup in Qatar.

Kuol, who turns 18 on Thursday, has made a brilliant start to his professional career for the A-League's Central Coast Mariners with his blinding speed and eye for goal causing major problems for defences.

The confident forward also put in a stunning display for the A-League All Stars against Barcelona in a Sydney exhibition in May, a performance that had visiting coach Xavi hailing his "obvious talent."

"He's showed great quality and great talent," Arnold told a news conference after naming his squad. "I truly believe our kids have got it here in Australia and it's just getting the opportunity.

"Up front is an area of the pitch where we need players. If you have pace and can put the ball in the back of the net ... I'm more than prepared to have a look at you."

Kuol, who was born in an Egyptian refugee camp to South Sudanese parents, said the step up to international football would not faze him.

"I think as an athlete, mentality is key," Arnold added. "Regardless of age, if you go in all guns blazing wanting to prove yourself and being ruthless, you can achieve whatever you want."

Australia host New Zealand on Sept. 22 in Brisbane with the return match in Auckland five days later.

Arnold said he had selected a bumper 31-man squad with a view to putting out a different team for each game.

Four players from the under-23 squad that Arnold coached at the Tokyo Olympics last year also got their first call ups, while the Scottish flavour to the squad was bolstered by the inclusion of Edinburgh-born striker Jason Cummings.

At the other end of the age spectrum from Kuol, 34-year-old Mitch Langerak has agreed to reverse his international retirement and was one of three goalkeepers named in the squad.

Australia will play champions France, Denmark and Tunisia in the group stage of the World Cup, which starts on Nov. 20.