Postecoglou retains five uncapped players for Socceroos’ upcoming World Cup qualifiers

The Roar Roar Guru

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    Australia has nailed down a 23-man squad for its upcoming World Cup qualifiers later this month against Iraq and the UAE.

    The Socceroos will travel to face Iraq in Tehran on March 23, before hosting the UAE at home in Sydney on March 28.

    Postecoglou initially named a 30-man squad, but has now trimmed that down to a final group of 23.

    Six A-League players, headed by Tim Cahill, have been named in the squad. League-leaders Sydney FC boast two inclusions, Rhyan Grant and Danny Vukovic.

    Riley McGree of Adelaide United, James Troisi of Melbourne Victory and Rhys Williams of Perth Glory are the other A-League players to feature.

    Grant, McGree and Vukovic are three of five uncapped players to be included in the squad, with Mustafa Amini and James Jeggo the others.

    Aziz Behich and Mitch Langerak will make returns to the squad after being absent in recent times.

    As expected, experienced heads Mile Jedinak, Aaron Mooy, Mat Ryan, Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Robbie Kruse, Trent Sainsbury and Mark Milligan are all in the mix.

    “We’ve come up with a good strong squad that has a mix of experience, form and players who are playing regular football,” Postecoglou said. “I was pleased with the collective game time the squad got through over the weekend and come into camp playing well.

    “We face two important games in five days and it’s good to welcome back some guys who have been out of the squad for different lengths of time for various reasons and I’m confident the group we’ve selected will be ready to hit the ground running.”

    “There are a lot of important matches in what shapes as a crucial year for the team but the focus for us is simply Iraq on Thursday week and then the UAE in Sydney on March 28.”

    Socceroos squad to play Iraq, UAE

    Name Club, Country A International Caps (Goals)
    Mustafa AMINI Aarhus Gymnastikforening (AGF), DENMARK
    Aziz BEHICH Bursaspor, TURKEY 11 (2)
    Tim CAHILL Melbourne City FC, AUSTRALIA 94 (48)
    Milos DEGENEK Yokohama F Marinos, JAPAN 5 (0)
    Rhyan GRANT Sydney FC, AUSTRALIA
    Jackson IRVINE Burton Albion FC, ENGLAND 7 (0)
    Mile JEDINAK Aston Villa FC, ENGLAND 68 (15)
    James JEGGO SK Sturm Graz, AUSTRIA
    Tomi JURIC FC Luzern, SWITZERLAND 20 (4)
    Robbie KRUSE Liaoning Whowin FC, CHINA 48 (4)
    Mitchell LANGERAK VfB Stuttgart FC, GERMANY 6 (0)
    Mathew LECKIE FC Ingolstadt 04, GERMANY 37 (3)
    Massimo LUONGO Queens Park Rangers FC, ENGLAND 24 (5)
    Riley McGREE Adelaide United FC, AUSTRALIA
    Mark MILLIGAN Baniyas FC, UAE 53 (5)
    Aaron MOOY Huddersfield Town AFC, ENGLAND 21 (5)
    Mathew RYAN KRC Genk, BELGIUM 30 (0)
    Trent SAINSBURY FC Internazionale Milano, ITALY 21 (3)
    Brad SMITH AFC Bournemouth, ENGLAND 14 (0)
    James TROISI Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA 26 (4)
    Rhys WILLIAMS Perth Glory FC, AUSTRALIA 14 (0)
    Bailey WRIGHT Bristol City FC, ENGLAND 12 (1)