LESS than five weeks out from Australia's first World Cup clash, coach Pim Verbeek still can't even whittle his squad down to 30, never mind his best XI.

To see Pim make his announcement...

Verbeek had been intending to name the 27 players who would be getting on the plane to South Africa after the Melbourne clash against New Zealand later this month.

But a run of late injuries and lack of game time forced Verbeek to name an extended squad of not just 30 but 31 players as he sweats on the condition of his first choice team.

Harry Kewell is under a serious cloud after his groin injury has ruled him out of almost any game time at all this year. Verbeek has been assured the Roos legend will be fit in time for kick off against Germany.

Other injured stars like Mark Bresciano, Vince Grella and Brett Emerton have added to Verbeek woes while others have simply lacked a chance to play recently and have lost match sharpness as a result.

Craig Moore hasn't played since returning from Greece, Jason Culina has not played since Gold Coast United's early exit from the A-League finals while others have been playing off the pine.

The selection crisis has opened the door for young bolters and fringe Socceroos to make an impression and force their way into the side that flies to South Africa.

Former Brisbane Roar starlet Tommy Oar has made it into the 31 while fringe stars Jade North and Michael Beauchamp have returned into consideration, along with ex-Perth Glory hero Nikita Rukavytsya.

But the injury worries came too late for players like Sasa Ognenovski, Joel Griffiths and Eddie Bosnar to earn a recall to the green and gold.

Despite good form at club level, their lack of recent involvement with the national team would have ruled them out from being parachuted in at the eleventh hour.

Also missing out were the GloryRoos - Mile Sterjovski, Jacob Burns and Chris Coyne all missed out on a call up despite featuring in the qualification campaign and training with clubs overseas.

Sydney FC/Melbourne Heart's Simon Colosimo was another name missing from the squad list.

Verbeek is now expected to take it to the wire and not name his final 23 until FIFA's June 1 deadline once the squad is in South Africa.

QANTAS SOCCEROOS PRELIMINARY SQUAD FOR THE 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP

Player Name

Club, Country

A-International matches (goals)

Michael BEAUCHAMP

Al-Jazira Club, UAE

19 (1)

Mark BRESCIANO

U.S. Citta di Palermo, Italy

52 (11)

Tim CAHILL

Everton FC, England

37 (18)

Nick CARLE

Crystal Palace, England

11 (0)

David CARNEY

FC Twente, Netherlands

22 (3)

Scott CHIPPERFIELD

FC Basel, Switzerland

63 (12)

Jason CULINA

Gold Coast United, Australia

46 (1)

Brett EMERTON

Blackburn Rovers, England

72 (17)

Adam FEDERICI

Reading FC, England

-

Eugene GALEKOVIC*

Adelaide United, Australia

4 (0)

Richard GARCIA

Hull City, England

5 (0)

Vincenzo GRELLA

Blackburn Rovers, England

42 (0)

James HOLLAND

AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands

4 (0)

Brett HOLMAN

AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands

29 (1)

Mile JEDINAK

Antalyaspor Kulubu, Turkey

9 (0)

Brad JONES

Middlesbrough FC, England

1 (0)

Josh KENNEDY

Nagoya Grampus, Japan

18 (6)

Harry KEWELL

Galatasaray SK, Turkey

45 (13)

Shane LOWRY

Aston Villa FC, England

-

Scott MCDONALD

Middlesbrough FC, England

15 (0)

Mark MILLIGAN

JEF United, Japan

9 (0)

Craig MOORE

Uncontracted

47 (3)

Lucas NEILL

Galatasaray SK, Turkey

53 (0)

Jade NORTH

Tromsø, Norway

28 (0)

Tom OAR

FC Utrecht, Netherlands

1 (0)

Nikita RUKAVYTSYA

FC Twente, Netherlands

2 (0)

Mark SCHWARZER

Fulham FC, England

73 (0)

Carl VALERI

U.S. Sassuolo Calcio, Italy

19 (0)

Dario VIDOSIC

FC Nurnberg, Germany

4 (0)

Luke WILKSHIRE

FK Dinamo Moscow, Russia

40 (2)

Rhys WILLIAMS

Middlesbrough FC, England

3 (0)

*Note: Eugene Galekovic will not be included in the list of 30-Players that will be submitted to FIFA but will travel with the Qantas Socceroos squad to South Africa as a stand-by goal keeper

To see Pim make his announcement...