The Olyroos squad for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games has been named and the team features some big omissions, so let’s see who didn’t make the cut.
It's a lot easier to pick exclusions than to pick a squad, but interestingly, the biggest surprise in the Olyroos squad to face a group of death against Egypt, Spain and Argentina is the sole experienced Socceroo, Mitch Duke.
A peripheral Australian striker with nine caps and four goals for the national team, Duke makes the cut ahead of the most experienced current Socceroos, Matt Leckie, Jackson Irvine, Aziz Behich, Trent Sainsbury and Mat Ryan.
Duke is also coming off a lean domestic campaign, in which he scored six goals in 17 appearances. One must think that after 25 goals in 24 games, Jamie Maclaren was unavailable for other reasons.
The Socceroos coach has also chosen to leave out some of the Socceroos' best younger stars, with Ajdin Hrustic, Brandon Borrello, Awer Mabil, Chris Ikonomidis and Fran Karacic all missing out.
But for Socceroos fans who may rue the lack of established stars like Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic, there is some consolation in a results-oriented dynamic to the squad.
Given the incredible strength of Australia's Olympics opposition, the height and power of Duke, Harry Souttar, Ruon Tongyik and Thomas Deng shows that Arnold is thinking about the team's strength from set pieces, and versatility among his substitutions.
Given Arnold's insistence on bringing younger players wherever possible and the Olyroos' relative depth in the creative positions, perhaps the biggest cuts come from this age range itself.
First and foremost, given Arnold's preference to choose players experienced in the A-League, Aiden O'Neill's exclusion despite starring in Melbourne City's domestic double win is a head-scratcher.
Cameron Devlin can also feel unlucky after his nomination for Young Player of the Year. Fellow breakout stars this season like Stuttgart-bound Alou Kuol, Marco Tolio and Stefan Colakovski also fail to make the side as late bolters.
Dylan Wenzel-Halls may have made the squad, were it not for a very lean end to his A-League campaign. Newcastle Jets' Ramy Najjarine, despite the winger scoring the best goal of the Olyroos' recent friendly series against Ireland, misses out on selection. Tass Mourdoukoutas can feel peeved, given he has the second most Olyroos caps this generation, as can his Wanderers teammate Danish Margush. Kye Rowles instead makes the cut, as the only centre-back in the team without a Socceroos cap.
Fulham's Premier League debutant Tyrese Francois is nowhere to be seen, along with his brother Marlee Francois. Crystal Palace's towering centre back Jay-Rich Baghuelou is cut despite his impressive displays at club level this season. Brentford B's Lachlan Brook misses out after struggling for game time.
It is worth keeping in mind which players may have had their club teams slam the door on a potential Olyroos call up.
There's also no space for two Olyroos playing regularly in Croatia, Deni Juric and Anthony Kalik. Kalik has now made a whopping 75 appearances in the Croatian top flight, and generally impressed in the Olyroos friendly series.
Juric, who scored 11 goals this season in Croatia's top flight and has been linked with Spartak Moscow, can feel very unlucky.
Bundesliga youth Jacob Italiano misses out despite playing very regularly for Borussia Monchengladbach's reserves last season. Panos Armenakas, another standout against the Irish, is also cut from the squad in a blow for his European aspirations.
Another Aussie heralded as one of the best young talents in the world, Noah Botic, scored four goals at the 2019 U/17 World Cup and plays for Hoffenheim, but misses out.
The incredible Joeys side that qualified for the U/17 World Cup in 2019 and beat Nigeria on their way to the Round of 16 only has one face in this team, Southampton's Caleb Watts.
The captain of that World Cup team, Ryan Teague, also misses out despite signing for Christian Ronaldo's agency. Brighton's Cameron Peupion and Sporting Lisbon's Tristan Hammond and Presley Ortiz also fit this bill.
These exclusions are less surprising given their ages, but are also a reminder that none of that side have gone on to play regular football yet. These players are perhaps the most unlucky, as their ages fall between Olympics, all but ruling them out of 2026. Whereas the likes of Cristian Volpato, who has scored five goals in his last seven games for Roma, and Rafael Rech, who is earning plaudits at Brazil's Sao Paulo, will instead be gunning for the 2026 Olympic Games.
Finally, there is the wish list of names that the Olyroos could have had, but perhaps never will. Former Barcelona La Masia star Zak Gilsenan is eligible but could represent Ireland instead, while Manchester City's arguably finest talent, Alex Robertson, is probably destined for England despite his father's insistence otherwise.
Even with the possible refusal of clubs to let their players go, it still says a lot about the game time that young Australians receive overseas that the majority of the squad is A-League based.
Breaking it down by country, of the 10 eligible Aussies in Croatia, none are selected, and of the nine eligible Aussies battling it out in Portugal, none are selected for the squad. None of the seven eligible Aussies in Germany make it.
Only three of the 26 eligible Aussies playing in the first three tiers of English football make the squad either. Watts is the only player in the Olyroos squad playing for a club in Europe's big five leagues, out of a possible 13 eligible Australians.