With the recent enquiry about who we'll be playing in February I feel we should have a designated thread where news, questions, etc about the upcoming fixtures for Australia can be discussed. . Also try and use this thread for similar posts about the Joey's, U20s and U23s as well.
AUSTRALIAN football's courtship of Asia is about to get serious with the Socceroos to face Iraq in an international Down Under on March 26.
The match against a nation rising from the ravages of war comes six weeks after a friendly with South Africa in Durban and is part of a hectic calendar which could see the Socceroos play 13 games next year - four of them in Australia.
Defying the instability of the post-war insurgency, Iraq's national team are ranked four places above Frank Farina's Australia - at 45 in FIFA's pecking order - and are second in their Asian qualification group for the 2006 World Cup.
Their Olympic team knocked Australia out at the quarter-final stage in Athens and Australian Soccer Association kingpin John O'Neill views a clash against the country which plays its home matches in neighbouring Qatar as a bridge into the Asian Confederation for World Cup 2010.
The Socceroos are also earmarked to meet Japan or Korea in Australia in October.
O'Neill will announce the Iraq fixture in Kuala Lumpur next week where he is due to meet heads of the Asian Football Confederation on plans for technical and competitive co-operation between the two regions.