Socceroos 26-man squad named
Six out, another three to go in three weeks15 May 2018 | FT Editor
Six men woke this morning to find out they won't be on a flight to Antalya in Turkey to take part in a three-week training camp ahead of the World Cup in Russia. They are Alex Gersbach, Apostolos Giannou, Mitch Langerak, Jamie Maclaren, Aleksandr Susnjar and Bailey Wright.
Maclaren's omission from the 26-man shorter long list of Bert van Marwijk for #Russia2018 was widely expected, despite his fine form in the Scottish Premier League, as he had informed journalists himself yesterday. Wright's omission is a blow for the Bristol City captain, but the writing was on the wall for him after he was tried at right back in the match v Norway and didn't fit in comfortably to the role. Langerak is unlucky. The 29-year-old from Emerald in central Queensland has played for Melbourne Victory, Borussia Dortmund, Stuttgart and now Nagoya Grampus, but has always been the 'bridesmaid' in the goalkeeper stakes for Australia. He lost his position this time due to van Marwijk being more familiar with, and favouring, Brad Jones who plays with Feyenoord.
Amongst those heading to Turkey are two uncapped players: 19-year-old Daniel Arzani from Melbourne City, and 22-year-old captain of Croatia's NK Lokomotiva, Fran Karacic, who has never been to Australia. Between the other 24 players, they have played 704 games for Australia.
Tim Cahill and Mark Milligan remain on track to attend their fourth successive World Cup each, with another record awaiting Cahill if he does make it - that is, scoring in a fourth successive World Cup.
Van Marwijk said he feels he will have a balanced and eager group of professionals to work with in Turkey for the training camp, which also includes warm-up games against Czehia (Czech Republic) on 1 June and Hungary on 9 June.
“It is always a challenging task to reduce a squad, however this is the nature of professional sport at the highest level. Overall, I believe we have named a strong and ambitious squad for our training camp in Turkey and friendly against Czech Republic in Austria.”
“I am sure that in training in Antalya, and in our match against the Czech Republic, we will see players pushing to go to a higher level as they compete for a place in the final squad,” he said.
The final squad must be named on 3 June, giving players an opportunity to press their claims one last time in the international friendly against Czehia. No more than 23 players can be named, including three goalkeepers.
|Daniel Arzani||Melbourne City||0 (0)|
|Aziz Behich||Bursaspor, Turkey||21 (2)|
|Josh Brillante||Sydney FC||5 (0)|
|Tim Cahill||Millwall, England||105 (50)|
|Milos Degenek||Yokohama Marinos, Japan||17 (0)|
|Jackson Irvine||Hull City, England||17 (2)|
|Mile Jedinak||Aston Villa, England||75 (18)|
|Brad Jones||Feyenoord, Netherands||5 (0)|
|Tomi Juric||FC Luzern, Switzerland||34 (8)|
|Matthew Jurman||Suwon Bluewings, South Korea||4 (0)|
|Fran Karacic||NK Lokomotiva, Croatia||0 (0)|
|Robbie Kruse||VfL Bochum, Germany||62 (5)|
|Mathew Leckie||Hertha Berlin, Germany||51 (6)|
|Massimo Luongo||Queens Park Rangers, England||34 (5)|
|James Meredith||Millwall, England||2 (0)|
|Mark Milligan||Al Ahli, Saudi Arabia||66 (6)|
|Aaron Mooy||Huddersfield, England||32 (5)|
|Andrew Nabbout||Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan||2 (0)|
|Dimitri Petratos||Newcastle Jets||1 (0)|
|Josh Risdon||Western Sydney Wanderers||6 (0)|
|Tom Rogic||Celtic, Scotland||35 (7)|
|Nikita Rukavytsya||Maccabi Haifa, Israel||18 (1)|
|Mathew Ryan||Brighton and Hove Albion, England||42 (0)|
|Trent Sainsbury||Grasshopper Club Zurich, Switzerland||33 (3)|
|James Troisi||Melbourne Victory||37 (5)|
|Daniel Vukovic||KRC Genk, Belgium||1 (0)|
As an aside, the question must be asked why did we have a 32-man longer long list last week, to reduce it to 26 men this week? We noticed one journalist suggested the answer was "publicity, it gives FFA another hit" - but surely, there is more creativity within FFA in terms of publicity around the Socceroos fourth successive World Cup than having to play with the emotions, hopes and expectations of players - just for a bit of a PR sugar hit?
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socceroos, 2018 world cup