Bert van Marwijk confirms 23-men World Cup squad, omitting cutting James Troisi, Josh Brillante, Nikita Rukavytsya and Fran Karacic from his initial squad.
Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian), who was called up late as standby for Tomi Juric, had an impression training session in Turkey to earn his spot in the final squad, resulting four omission from original 26-men squad. Juric has been recuperating from knee injury, but both Juric and Maclaren were named in final squad.
Maclaren earlier had controversial omission from initial 26, only to earn eleventh hour call for world cup. He had been prolific scorer for Hibs, since arriving on loan from German club Darmstadt. His inclusion should help Socceroos’ as it would take some load off from Tim Cahill. Cahill has 50 international goals from his 105 appearances. Apart from Mile Jedinak (18 goals from 73 internationals), others have single digit international goals.
The 2018 World Cup dreams of A-League duo James Troisi and Josh Brillante and Europe-based Nikita Rukavytsya and Fran Karacic, were shattered, as they could not find place in Russia bound 23-men squad. Fran Karacic, the Croatian-born fullback earlier had surprise selection in Van Marwijk’s initial squad.
“I have been very pleased with the effort and application of all of the players during our time in Turkey, and in Austria. Every step of the selection process has been difficult because the players have all given everything to make the final selection”- Bert van Marwijk said.
“However considering many factors, we have now settled on our final squad for Russia. I believe this group of players can do Australia proud at the world’s biggest football tournament if we continue to work collectively and intensively over the next two weeks and into the competition,” he said.
Only six players survived from Australia’s 2014 squad. Cahill and Mark Milligan, will both be going to their fourth successive tournament starting from Germany World Cup 2006. Cahill will become only the fourth player in World Cup history to score goals in consecutive four world cup tournaments, if he scores in Russia.
The Socceroos play one final warm-up match against Hungary in Budapest next weekend before heading to Russia where they will face France in their first Group C match in Kazan, Russia on June 16.
Australia World Cup Squad
Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan (Brighton, England), Brad Jones (Feyenoord, Netherlands), Danny Vukovic (Genk, Belgium)
Defenders: Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers), Trent Sainsbury (Grasshopper Zurich, Switzerland), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Samsung Bluewings, Korea), Aziz Behich (Bursaspor, Turkey), Mark Milligan (Al Ahli, Saudi Arabia), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F Marinos, Japan), James Meredith (Millwall, England)
Midfield: Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town, England), Tom Rogic (Celtic, Scotland), Massimo Luongo (QPR, England), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa, England), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Jackson Irvine (Hull City, England), Matthew Leckie (Hertha BSC, Germany), Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City)
Forwards: Tim Cahill (Millwall, England), Tomi Juric (Luzern, Switzerland), Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian, Scotland), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan), Robbie Kruse (Bochum, Germany)