Caltex Socceroos squad named for World Cup qualifiers

The Caltex Socceroos will face Iraq and UAE in the opening 2018 FIFA World Cup final stage qualifiers at full strength with coach Ange Postecoglou selecting an experienced and powerful 23-man squad for the first two matches early next month.

For just the second time in his tenure, Postecoglou has named a squad with no uncapped players as the Caltex Socceroos look to get off to a flying start against Iraq in Perth (1 September) and then the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi (6 September).

“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.”

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Ange Postecoglou announces his 23-man squad for friendlies against Germany and FYR Macedonia.

The squad not only reflects the importance of starting this phase of World Cup Qualification strongly but the journey the Socceroos have lived since Postecoglou became Head Coach in 2013. The current squad, which has evolved over the last three years, now have an average of 23 caps.

“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,” Postecoglou 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.”

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers - Match Details

Caltex Socceroos v Iraq                          

1 September 2016

Perth Rectangular Stadium

6.30pm kick off (8.30pm AEST)

United Arab Emirates v Caltex Socceroos

6 September 2016

Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

7.30pm kick off (1.30am AEST Wednesday 7 September)

Tickets for the Australia v Iraq match in Perth can be purchased through www.socceroos.com.au/tickets

The Caltex Socceroos ahead of kick-off against Greece in Melbourne in June.

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

 Name

Club, Country

A International Caps (Goals)

Nathan BURNS

F.C. Tokyo, JAPAN

22 (3)

Tim CAHILL

Melbourne City FC, AUSTRALIA

91 (47)

Milos DEGENEK

TSV 1860 Munchen, GERMANY

3 (0)

Adam FEDERICI

A.F.C. Bournemouth, ENGLAND

16 (0)

Alex GERSBACH

Rosenborg BK, NORWAY

2 (0)

Apostolos GIANNOU

Guangzhou R&F F.C., CHINA

3 (0)

Chris IKONOMIDIS

S.S. Lazio, ITALY

6 (0)

Jackson IRVINE

Burton Albion FC, ENGLAND

4 (0)

Mile JEDINAK

Crystal Palace F.C, ENGLAND

64 (12)

Tomi JURIC

FC Luzern, SWITZERLAND

16 (2)

Robbie KRUSE

Bayer 04 Leverkusen, GERMANY

43 (4)

Mitchell LANGERAK

VfB Stuttgart, GERMANY

6 (0)

Mathew LECKIE

FC Ingolstadt 04, GERMANY

31 (3)

Massimo LUONGO

Queens Park Rangers F.C., ENGLAND

20 (4)

Ryan MCGOWAN

Henan Jianye F.C., CHINA

16 (0)

Mark MILLIGAN

Baniyas F.C., UAE

49 (5)

Aaron MOOY

Huddersfield Town FC, ENGLAND

16 (5)

Tommy ROGIC

Celtic FC, SCOTLAND

18 (5)

Mathew RYAN

Valencia CF, SPAIN

25 (0)

Trent SAINSBURY

Jiangsu Suning F.C., CHINA

16 (2)

Brad SMITH

A.F.C. Bournemouth, ENGLAND

9 (0)

Matthew SPIRANOVIC

Hangzhou Greentown F.C., CHINA

30 (0)

Bailey WRIGHT

Preston North End F.C, ENGLAND

12 (1)