Poll: Which Caltex Socceroos additions should make the Extended Squad?
There were a few surprises in Caltex Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk’s 32-man preliminary squad announced last week in preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
While he stuck with all 26 players from his first squad which played Norway and Colombia in March, the Dutchman also brought six new faces into contention to be part of the final 23 to go to Russia.
Uncapped duo Daniel Arzani and Fran Karacic have received their first international call-ups, while Jamie Maclaren, Apostolos Giannou, Mitch Langerak and Alex Gersbach have all been recalled.
With van Marwijk to trim the 32-man squad on Tuesday, which of the six new faces could avoid the cut and be included in the pre-World Cup training camp in Turkey?
We want your view on which new player should survive the cut and be given a chance to impress!
Read about the six new faces in the squad below and vote for who you think should be named to go to Turkey in the build-up to Russia.
Not many Aussie fans would have heard about the 21-year-old before his selection but the Croatia-based defender looms as a genuine option for the Caltex Socceroos’ “problem position” at right-back.
Karacic, who has played eight times for Croatia at youth level, is captain at Lokomotiva Zagreb and has played 24 matches this season.
Described by van Marwijk as a player that “has something special” Arzani breaks into the squad on the back of his superb performances for Melbourne City in the Hyundai A-League.
The teenager started 15 games for City, scoring two goals and providing three assists on the way to being named the NAB Young Footballer of the Year.
The ex-Brisbane Roar striker has rocketed back into contention on the back of an impressive loan spell at Scottish club Hibernian.
Having joined the Scottish Premiership club mid-season from German outfit SV Darmstadt, Maclaren has netted five goals in 13 appearances, including match-winners against Glasgow giants Rangers and Celtic.
Injury has hampered the 28-year-old’s season in Cyprus, where he plays for Aek Larnaca.
Giannou, who last played for the Caltex Socceroos in late 2016, has scored two goals in 11 appearances for Larnaca this season.
One of four gloveman in the squad, Langerak is battling with Mat Ryan, Brad Jones and Danny Vukovic to be one of the three keepers to go to Russia.
Since swapping Levante in Spain for the J-League’s Nagoya Grampus, the 29-year-old has started 13 games and been a consistent performer.
The 20-year-old is back in contention for a left-back spot following a string of eye-catching displays for French Ligue 2 club Lens.
Gersbach, who is likely to battle with James Meredith for a spot behind Aziz Behich on the plane to Russia, has featured in 11 games since moving from Norway’s Rosenborg.
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