The fresh faces in van Marwijk’s first Caltex Socceroos squad

Bert van Marwijk has stuck with a number of bolters in his final 26-man Caltex Socceroos squad for the upcoming friendlies against Norway and Colombia.

Here’s a look at some of the fresh faces in the Australian squad for the matches later this month.

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James Meredith

What a great season it’s been for Meredith since making the move to newly-promoted Championship club Millwall.

The 29-year-old defender has been an ever-present for the Lions in the Championship and he’ll add another interesting option at left-back alongside Turkey-based Aziz Behich.

Meredith has two caps to his name already - in the early stages of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification against Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan – and joins new club-mate Tim Cahill in the squad.

Aleksandar Susnjar

Not many would have heard of the uncapped defender before he made the initial 29-man squad last week but his performances for Czech outfit FK Mlada Boleslav have earned Susnjar his first senior international call-up.

The 22-year-old has not only performed excellently in the Czech Republic but impressed in the heart of defence for Australia at January’s 2018 AFC U-23 Championship in China.

Will he get a shot in the senior team later this month?

Aleksandar Susnjar
Aleksandar Susnjar (left)

Brad Jones

He might be 35 but Jones’ selection is a shock considering it’s been four years since he last played a match for the Caltex Socceroos.

But it’s hard to argue with his selection after his exploits with Feyenoord in the Eredivisie over the last 18 months,

Jones – a former Liverpool keeper - has been in superb form in the Netherlands, helping Feyenoord to their first Eredivisie title in 18 years last season, keeping 17 clean sheets.

Josh Brillante

It should come as no surprise the Sydney FC midfielder has the chance to add to his five international caps so far.

The all-action and versatile 24-year-old has been superb for the Sky Blues over the last two season, anchoring the midfield in the club’s back-to-back record-breaking campaigns.

Brillante was unlucky to miss a spot in the squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil but his eye-catching performances in the Hyundai A-League means he’s a strong shot to make his first Australian outing in four years.

Josh Brillante
Josh Brillante

Dimitri Petratos

The move to the Hunter has proved to be a masterstroke for Petratos, who has been in career-best form under Ernie Merrick at the Newcastle Jets.

With nine goals and eight assists for the campaign, the 25-year-old has simply demanded selection and will relish the chance to show van Marwijk what he’s got.

Also a new dad, life is pretty good for the ex-Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar attacker right now but a ticket on the plane to Russia would cap it all off.

Andrew Nabbout

It’s been a dream few weeks for Nabbout, with his international selection coming after securing a move to J-League giants Urawa Red Diamonds.

Nabbout has produced a catalogue of spectacular goals with Newcastle Jets in the Hyundai A-League in 2017/18 – including a stunner against the Wanderers – and will hope to transfer that into the green and gold.

With pace, power, a huge engine and eye for goal, Nabbout has all the attributes to be a hit for the Caltex Socceroos.

Andrew Nabbout
Andrew Nabbout