Thomas set for Socceroos selection

Mitch Langerak’s shock retirement from international football has all but sealed ex-Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas a spot in the Socceroos’ squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers in Kuwait.

Langerak, in fine form with Japanese club Nagoya Grampus, announced on Wednesday he was quitting the Socceroos for family reasons despite being just 32.

The Queensland-born gloveman was certain to receive game time in Kuwait, where the Socceroos play games against the host nation, Chinese Taipei, Nepal and Jordan between June 3 and June 15.

Langerak may have even deposed Mat Ryan as first-choice keeper due to Ryan’s lack of game time at English Premier League club Arsenal.

But with Langerak gone, and four goalkeepers likely to be named in a Socceroos squad that could total 34, custodian spots are up for grabs.

Even if Langerak had been available, uncapped 29-year-old Thomas was already in strong contention to be named such has been his form for Danish Super League club SønderjyskE, who he joined last year from the Victory.

Lawrence Thomas works hard during a training session with his former club Melbourne Victory. Picture: AAP Image/Michael DodgeSource:AAP

Thomas’ form has caught the eye of Socceroos boss Graham Arnold and the national team’s goalkeeping coach John Crawley.

Ryan and Thomas seem set to occupy two of the four goalkeeper spots in Arnold’s squad, with Sydney FC’s Andrew Redmayne, Macarthur FC’s Adam Federici and the inactive Danny Vukovic seemingly in a three-way battle for the other two custodian berths.

Vukovic, 36, returned to Australia for family reasons in March, cutting short his successful stint with Belgian club Genk.

Despite his inactivity, Vukovic has been training with Crawley and remains in strong contention to travel to Kuwait.

The form of 36-year-old Federici, who returned to Australia from the UK this season to join A-League newcomers Macarthur FC, has also impressed Arnold and Crawley.

A Socceroos’ selection smokey could be Melbourne City’s Olyroos’ custodian Tom Glover, with Arnold not having ruled out picking an Olyroo for the senior squad if their form warrants selection.

The Socceroos’ squad for the matches in Kuwait is set to be named next week, with a training camp taking place later this month in the United Arab Emirates.

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