Squad Revealed: The trio who could make their Socceroos debuts in September

This September, there will be three new faces gunning for a debut in the Socceroos' defensive unit.

Graham Arnold announced his 27-man squad for Australia's upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, featuring three potential debutants in Callum Elder, Paul Izzo and Ryan Strain.

Ahead of next week's kick-off in Doha, here is your chance to find out more about the new players entering camp in the coming days! 

Aus v China

Callum Elder

Position: Left Back

Age: 26

Current Club: Hull City (England)

Previous clubs: Leicester City, Mansfield Town, Peterborough United, Brentford, Barnsley, Wigan Athletic, Ipswich Town

International Experience: Young Socceroos

Hailing from Sydney’s north, but spending over a decade in England, left-back Callum Elder was made to wait for his maiden Socceroos call-up.

After rising through the ranks at Manly United, the defender took a leap as a teenager, securing a move to Leicester City’s youth academy while he was still at school.

While he never made a senior appearance for the club, Elder enjoyed a number of successful loan stints throughout the leagues, growing as a player with each experience.

After suffering an injury and returning to the club, he was able to soak up the unbelievable training ground atmosphere as Leicester defied the odds to win the 2016 Premier League title.

On the pitch, he caught the eye of many during a stint with Wigan Athletic, earning promotion to the Championship.

In August 2019, Elder made the call to depart Leicester, joining Hull City in the Championship – where he was initially a teammate of Socceroo Jackson Irvine.

While the club’s fortunes would drop off substantially, leading to their relegation in 2020, 2021 saw Elder rise as a figurehead of their promotion push, earning a place in the League One Team of the Season as the Tigers restored their place in England’s second tier.

Having only previously represented the Young Socceroos once back in 2013, Elder is relishing the opportunity offered by his first senior international call-up at 26 years of age.

After an injury suffered late in the club season ruled him out of contention for June 2021’s Socceroos action, Elder will be eager to make his mark in September and beyond.

Ryan Strain

Position: Right Back

Age: 24

Current Club: Maccabi Haifa (Israel)

Previous clubs: Adelaide United

International Experience: Young Socceroos, Australia U-23

After making his name in the A-League, energetic fullback Ryan Strain is enjoying his first senior stint in Europe – and maiden Socceroos call-up.

Born in England, Strain enjoyed a stint with Aston Villa's academy, before moving to South Australia.

From there, it didn't take long for the defender to be snapped up by Adelaide United.

After a couple of years in the NPL, Strain was handed his chance to impress in the A-League: and has not looked back since.

82 appearance for Adelaide United between 2017 and 2021 laid the perfect foundations for a move overseas, which arrived in 2021 as Israeli powerhouses Maccabi Haifa came calling.

Wearing the number two shirt, he is already making the fullback role his own, most recently playing as the club secured qualification for the UEFA Conference League group stages.

To cap off a whirlwind few weeks, Strain is now set for his first senior international call-up - alongside a club teammate in Paul Izzo.

While the defender has previously enjoyed time in camp with the Young Socceroos and Australia U-23’s, playing in the latter's November 2020 friendlies against Macarthur FC and Sydney FC, he is yet to play a competitive game for his country.


Paul Izzo

Position: Goalkeeper

Age: 26

Current Club: Xanthi FC (Greece)

Previous clubs: Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners

International Experience: Joeys, Young Socceroos, Olyroos

26-year-old goalkeeper Paul Izzo is a well-known figure for A-League fans.

A South Australian native, Izzo rose through the ranks at Campbelltown City, before spending time with the A.I.S and then Adelaide United’s academy.

It was with the Reds that Izzo enjoyed his senior debut, before moving up to Central Coast Mariners after a handful of appearances with his hometown club.

On the Coast, he established himself as a number one, and developed into one of the league’s most impressive young goalkeepers.

A return to Adelaide Followed, where 78 appearances between 2017 and 2020 proved to be the springboard to a European move to Greek club Xanthi.

Having previously represented the Joeys, Young Socceroos and Olyroos at youth level, Izzo is delighted to be joining Australia's goalkeeping ranks in September.