Kenny Dougall could make Blackpool history as Australia qualify for the World Cup

Kenny Dougall could become the first Blackpool player to represent the Seasiders at a World Cup since Alan Ball in 1966.

Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 7:00 am

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It comes after Australia confirmed their spot at this winter’s tournament in Qatar following a penalty shootout win against Peru.

Dougall didn’t feature in the game and wasn’t even named among the substitutes, but he has featured in plenty of Graham Arnold’s squads over the last year and will now have his eyes set on making it to Qatar.

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The 29-year-old, who has been capped five times by his nation, will now have extra motivation to perform well for the Seasiders in the first half of the season to catch the eye of Australian selectors.

The Socceroos, who have now qualified for five straight World Cups, were forced into the play-offs after finishing in third place in their Asian section qualifying group, behind Japan and Saudi Arabia.

They edged past United Arab Emirates 2-1 in their semi-final eliminator, seeing them progress into an intercontinental play-off against South American side Peru.

Last night’s decider in Qatar went all the way to penalties after the two sides played out a tense 120 minutes of goalless action, with clear-cut chances few and far between.

Dougall will be doing all he can to make Graham Arnold's squad this winter

The spot kicks went to sudden death before goalkeeper Andrew Redymayne, who replaced Maty Ryan during the final minutes of extra-time, saved the decisive penalty.

Australia will now face reigning champions France as well as Denmark and Tunisia in Group D.

Should Dougall feature in Qatar this winter, he will become the first Blackpool player to feature at a World Cup since Ball lifted the trophy for England in 1966.

The likes of Jimmy Armfield, Jackie Mudie, Stanley Matthews, Allan Brown and Stan Mortensen had all featured at the finals before then.

Richard Kingson played for Ghana during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but only joined Blackpool the following September.

The same also happened with midfielder Jose Cubero, who joined the Seasiders a couple of weeks after representing Costa Rica at the 2014 World Cup.

Hameur Bouzza wasn’t selected for the Algerian squad in 2010 despite being a regular name in their squads during qualifying.

The Championship will pause on November 13 before the World Cup begins on November 21.

The schedule gets back underway on December 9, a period which covers the group games and the opening round of knockout games.

The tournament in Qatar ends with the final being played on December 18.

Elsewhere, Dougall’s Blackpool teammate CJ Hamilton will be hoping to make his first international start when the Republic of Ireland take on Ukraine in Poland tonight (7.45pm kick-off).