Socceroos coach Graham Arnold wants the federal government to be his team's 12th man and allow them to play future World Cup qualifiers at home, as they prepare to end their lengthy absence from international competition
Next week Arnold will name his squad for four World Cup qualifiers against Kuwait, Taiwan, Nepal and Jordan in Kuwait in June, with the named players heading to the United Arab Emirates to prepare.
Australia collected maximum points and scored 16 goals in their first four qualifiers, three of them away from home.
They lead their group and are in a prime position to advance to the next phase of qualifying.
The Socceroos' next game against Kuwait will be their first in over 550 days since their last qualifier in November 2019.
"When the (FIFA) window in March was called off, all the Middle East nations played and all the Europeans and South Americans, it's been a long time but the Socceroos family is getting back together," Arnold told AAP before flying out to the UAE on Wednesday evening.
"We're the only nation in the (FIFA) top 50 rankings that hasn't played a game since COVID started so it's just going to be great to catch up and see all these boys again and continue this journey," Arnold said.
Arnold stressed they would need the federal government's assistance to ensure they would be allowed to play home games, or otherwise face the prospect of potentially contesting 17 of 18 qualifiers overseas.
"We're going to need the government to be 12th man with the advantage of being able to play our third-round qualifiers here in Australia," Arnold said.
"Because if not, our statistics show away from home over the last eight we've had 18 World Cup qualifiers and our win percentage is less than 30 per cent, it's about 24 per cent.
"It just shows you how important our home advantage is. Those stats are 18 games at home for 15 wins and three draws."
Arnold said goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak's decision to retire came out of the blue, but isn't concerned regular first-choice custodian Mat Ryan has started just three games for Arsenal.
"When you are training at Arsenal around those players every day, you are going to be in great shape," Arnold said.
"Matty has shown that in the games he's played at Arsenal he's in great shape.
"It was a shock when Mitch Langerak retired, but we've got some good depth in the goalkeeping department."
Arnold was sympathetic towards A-League clubs who stood to lose players for some finals games as they coincided with the World Cup qualifiers in Kuwait.
"I feel sorry obviously for the coaches, the players, the clubs," Arnold said.
"Everyone planned the A-League would have been finished by the end of May, but due to the state border closures during the season, then obviously the finals series got pushed back."
Following the qualifiers in Kuwait, Olyroos' coach Arnold's attention will turn to the Games tournament, with the squad to be named in late June.