AEK’s Nathan Burns has been rewarded for his stellar performances for the Athens club in Sydney last week with an immediate call up to the Australia squad.

The Socceroos will face Slovenia in an upcoming international friendly in Ljubljana, Slovenia on Wednesday 11 August 2010 (Kick-Off 8:45pm local, 4:45am AEST). The match will be the first ever at the Sportni Park Stozice, the new national stadium.

Acting Socceroos Head Coach Han Berger has selected a squad of 20-players featuring thirteen members of the Socceroos group that represented Australia at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Along with Burns, the 13 will be joined by James Holland, Shane Lowry, Jade North and Tommy Oar who were named as part of the preliminary squad for the World Cup but failed to make the final cut.

Burns was last selected for Australia in a friendly against Singapore in 2008, and has only two senior selections.

Acting head coach Han Berger said, “The Socceroos squad announced for the friendly against Slovenia has been selected with an eye to rejuvenating the national team with the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

“Although the overall strategy is aimed at preparing for 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the AFC Asian Cup is also very important and our next focus will be around preparing the best squad available for Qatar in January.

“The squad selected is a good mixture of young and experienced players with thirteen of the twenty players from our 2010 FIFA World Cup squad.”

Bruce Djite and Jon McKain will also return to the squad after last being selected for the AFC Asian Cup 2011 qualifying matches against Kuwait and Indonesia in January and March 2010 respectively.

Slovenia narrowly missed out on progressing to the round of 16 after finishing third in Group C at the 2010 World Cup behind the USA and England. Currently enjoying their highest ever ranking, Slovenia is placed 19th in the FIFA World Rankings – one ahead of Australia.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) also announced that the Socceroos would host Paraguay at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday 9th October 2010 (kick-off 8:00pm AEDT) in another friendly match.

FFA Chief Executive Officer Ben Buckley said the match will be the final game for Australia in their own country.

“It will be the only time the national team will play in Australia for the rest of this year so I urge all Socceroos fans to get in early and get their tickets so they are not disappointed.

“It should be a fantastic match as Paraguay is a top quality opponent as shown by the fact the team reached the quarter finals of the FIFA World Cup before losing to eventual winners Spain,” Buckley said.

Australia is also scheduled to play Switzerland in St Gallen on 3rd September and Poland in Krakow on 7th September.