Postecoglou names full-strength Socceroos squad for World Cup qualifiers

Australia coach Ange Postecoglou has announced a full-strength 23-man squad, including no uncapped players, for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Iraq and United Arab Emirates.

Australia

Source: AAP



It was only the second time under Postecoglou that no debutantes were named in his Socceroos squad, as the 2015 AFC Asian Cup champions gear up for important World Cup qualifiers against Iraq in Perth on 1 September and UAE in Abu Dhabi, five days later.

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Tomi Juric, Matthew Spiranovic, Massimo Luongo and Mitchell Langerak were all recalled, while defenders Josh Risdon and Jason Geria, striker Jamie Maclaren and goalkeeper Mark Birighitti were omitted from Postecoglou's squad.

"This squad sets us up well for the huge challenge we have ahead over the next 12 months to qualify for the World Cup but importantly it is specific to the first task at hand, which is Iraq in Perth and then the UAE in Abu Dhabi," Postecoglou said.

"Both Iraq and UAE present challenges for us and every player will need to be ready to hit the ground running. As has been the case right through, form and fitness are central to the squad we’ve selected and I believe we have the squad to get us off to a good start.

"Some of our players have made moves during the off season and I’m pleased that the vast majority will come into the camp with a good pre season and a few meaningful matches under their belt."

The current Socceroos squad, which has evolved over the last three years under Postecoglou, now has an average of 23 caps per player.

"The first 18 months was about putting together a team to do Australia proud at the 2014 World Cup and to win the Asian Cup," he said.

"We then moved into a phase of building depth to grow the pool of players who could do the job at an international level, while negotiating the first stage of Qualifiers.

"We’ve now arrived at the final stage of World Cup Qualifying where we will face a stronger group of opponents in testing conditions and we are comfortable that we have a core group of players with a stronger base of international experience. 

"In saying that, we have a much broader group of players that we know we can rely on and others from outside the group will make a strong contribution in the coming months, particularly from within the A-League, which is yet to get underway for this season."

Full Socceroos squad for 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers v Iraq and UAE

Squad



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3 min read
Published 17 August 2016 at 11:12am
By Patrick Nugent
Source: FFA