Mile Jedinak will become the fourth Australian football player to lead the Socceroos to the FIFA World Cup Finals after being named as captain by head coach Ange Postecoglou today.
Jedinak’s experience as skipper of English Premier League side Crystal Palace will be boosted by Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano as vice-captains of the Socceroos, with both set to make a third appearance at the FIFA World Cup Finals in Brazil.
The appointments of Jedinak, Cahill and Bresciano were confirmed by Postecoglou at a team meeting last night as the Socceroos continue preparations on the New South Wales Central Coast.
Jedinak follows Peter Wilson (1974), Mark Viduka (2006) and Lucas Neill (2010) as Australians who have captained the Socceroos at the world’s biggest football tournament.
“Mile Jedinak will captain our national team at the 2014 World Cup,” Postecoglou said.
“It is a privileged position and an accolade he richly deserves after the incredible job he has done at Crystal Palace in the toughest club competition in world football – the English Premier League.
“Mile Jedinak embodies everything that is great about Australian football and Australia as a nation.
“He has risen to the top of world football and done it the hard way from humble beginnings where he has battled and believed in himself to overcome the odds with an enormous work ethic and passion for what he does.
“I have no doubt he will lead the team with distinction in Brazil and we will have two of our greatest-ever football players in Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano giving the team what I believe is strong leadership.
“Mile will be our captain but all three players will share the onus of leading this group to the World Cup where we will be representing the people of Australia with enormous pride and drive.
“We are going to Brazil to do all 23 million Australians proud,” he added.
Jedinak was honoured to be named Socceroo Captain for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil after leading Australia for the first time in the international friendly against Ecuador in London in March.
“To be handed the responsibility of captaining my country at the World Cup is humbling, yet incredibly exciting,” Jedinak said.
“Just pulling the Socceroo shirt on fills me with pride but to be leading out my country and these players at the World Cup on behalf of all Australians is special.
“It is an honour to be named captain but it is also a huge responsibility and I look forward to providing leadership for the team along with Tim (Cahill) and Mark (Bresciano) as we take on some of the biggest nations in world football.”
Cahill and Bresciano also spoke of the honour that comes with a leadership role of the Socceroos at a World Cup.
“Playing for the national team means a lot to me and to represent the Socceroos at the World Cup is an honour and I look forward to taking this opportunity to help Mile and Bresh (Bresciano) share the experience we have picked up in our time with the national team,” Cahill said.
Bresciano echoed Cahill’s sentiments.
“It is a privilege to wear the green and gold Socceroos shirt at the World Cup and represent the past, present and the future of football in this country. I’m honoured to have been recognised as a leader within this team.”
Send Off the Socceroos
Socceroos vs South Africa, presented by NAB
Monday 26 May 2014 ANZ Stadium, Sydney Kick-off: 7.30pm
Tickets are from $30 including public transport. Buy now!
SOCCEROOS 30-MAN PRELIMINARY SQUAD FOR THE 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL
Mark BIRIGHITTI (Newcastle Jets FC, AUSTRALIA)
Eugene GALEKOVIC (Adelaide United FC, AUSTRALIA)
Mitchell LANGERAK (B.V. Borussia 09 Dortmund, GERMANY)
Mat RYAN (Club Brugge KV, BELGIUM)
Jason DAVIDSON (SC Heracles Almelo, NETHERLANDS)
Ivan FRANJIC (Brisbane Roar FC, AUSTRALIA)
Curtis GOOD (Newcastle United, ENGLAND)
Ryan McGOWAN (Shandong Luneng Taishan FC, CHINA)
Matthew SPIRANOVIC (Western Sydney Wanderers FC, AUSTRALIA)
Alex WILKINSON (Jeonbuk Hyundai FC, KOREA REPUBLIC)
Luke WILKSHIRE (FK Dinamo Moscow, RUSSIA)
Bailey WRIGHT (Preston North End FC, ENGLAND)
Oliver BOZANIC (FC Luzern, SWITZERLAND)
Mark BRESCIANO (Al Gharafa, QATAR)
Joshua BRILLANTE (Newcastle Jets FC, AUSTRALIA)
James HOLLAND (FK Austria Vienna, AUSTRIA)
Mile JEDINAK (Crystal Palace FC, ENGLAND)
Massimo LUONGO (Swindon Town FC, ENGLAND)
Matthew McKAY (Brisbane ROAR FC, AUSTRALIA)
Mark MILLIGAN (Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA)
Tommy OAR (FC Utrecht, NETHERLANDS)
Tommy ROGIC (Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA)
Adam SAROTA (FC Utrecht, NETHERLANDS)
James TROISI (Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA)
Dario VIDOSIC (FC Sion, SWITZERLAND)
Tim CAHILL (New York Red Bulls, USA)
Ben HALLORAN (Fortuna Dusseldorf, GERMANY)
Josh KENNEDY (Nagoya Grampus 8, JAPAN)
Matthew LECKIE (FSV Frankfurt 1899, GERMANY)
Adam TAGGART (Newcastle Jets FC, AUSTRALIA)
PRE WORLD CUP WARM UP MATCHES – TRAINING GAMES
Monday 26 May
Socceroos v South Africa, presented by NAB
ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park NSW
Kick off: 7.30pm (AEST)
Gates open: 5.30pm
Monday 2 June
Training game v Parana Clube (Curitiba-based second division club)
Estadio Engenheiro Araripe (Socceroos training base)
Friday 6 June
Socceroos v Croatia
Pituacu Stadium, Salvador
Kick off: 8pm