27 players destined for Doha as Socceroos get set for final phase of AFC Asian Qualifying
Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold today announced the 27-man squad set to represent Australia in its first two FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar (Final Round) fixtures throughout September.
Australia’s squad for its upcoming matches against China PR and Vietnam will assemble in Doha, Qatar over the next 48 hours ahead of next week’s Final Round opener against China PR at the Khalifa International Stadium.
The Socceroos’ squad has been selected almost exclusively from Australian players based at clubs overseas, with Rhyan Grant from Sydney FC the only A-League-based player to be called up for the commencement of the crucial final phase of qualifiers.
Several other A-League players were in contention to feature in the squad, however challenges surrounding quarantine, and personal factors, have resulted in August/September’s Socceroos squad featuring players predominately from overseas-based clubs.
Arnold said that despite not being able to call upon multiple A-League-based players for the upcoming FIFA window, he’s delighted with the strength and depth of the 27-man squad that will arrive in the Middle East to represent the nation.
“I believe this is a great squad and one that will help Australia achieve a strong start in the final round of qualifying,” Arnold said. “We have at least two players for every position, which provides us both cover and tactical flexibility, and many players will arrive in camp off the back of strong form for their clubs throughout Europe, the UK, and Asia.”
“We also welcome back several senior Socceroos including Tom Rogic, Aaron Mooy, and Bailey Wright, this camp, while I expect players such as Ryan Strain, Callum Elder, and Paul Izzo will arrive in camp brimming with energy following their first senior international call-ups.”
“Unfortunately, there were several players we couldn’t consider for this window due to injury or matters related to COVID. Fran Karacic has a minor injury that has prevented him from traveling to Qatar, while complications and challenges with travel, quarantine, and personal factors ruled several Australia-based players out of contention,” he said.
RETURNING STARS: Mooy, Rogic, Arzani and more back in the fold
POTENTIAL DEBUTANTS: The trio who could earn their first caps in September
Football Australia has worked with Sydney FC to develop a plan for Rhyan Grant to represent Australia throughout September and October 2021. Grant will remain abroad between the September and October FIFA windows and continue to train in a high-performance environment. This agreement will ensure Grant continues to develop his fitness leading up to the A-League 2021/22 campaign, while also supporting his international ambitions.
Football Australia Performance Director, Paddy Steinfort, said similar options would continue to be explored for Australia-based players.
“Qualifying for a FIFA World Cup™ is the pinnacle in many player’s careers,” Steinfort said. “As COVID-19 continues to throw curveballs, we’ll continue to develop options and solutions that support the international ambitions of elite Australian footballers, while at the same time respecting the needs of their clubs in Australia.”
“Sydney FC and Steve Corica understand what representing Australia means to Rhyan. We want to acknowledge Sydney for working with us on a player-centered plan that will enable Rhyan to remain abroad, keep fit, and ultimately return for season 17 of the A-League with more Socceroos caps to his credit – which is a good thing for the club, competition, and country.”
Football Australia remain hopeful of playing October and November home game qualifiers in Australia, and are continuing collaboration and dialogue with Federal and State Governments.
Australia’s fixtures against China PR and Vietnam in September will be broadcast exclusively live and free in Australia on Network 10. Coverage of Australia’s first match in September will be from 3.30am AEST on Friday, 3 September 2021, with kick-off at 4am AEST.
|Name||Club, Country||'A' International Caps (Goals|
|Daniel ARZANI||Lommel SK, Belgium||6 (1)|
|Aziz BEHICH||Giresunspor, Turkey||41 (2)|
|Martin BOYLE||Hibernian FC, Scotland||7 (3)|
|Milos DEGENEK||Red Star Belgrade, Serbia||31 (1)|
|Kenneth DOUGALL||Blackpool FC, England||3 (0)|
|Mitchell DUKE||Fagiano Okayama, Japan||9 (4)|
|Callum ELDER||Hull City AFC, England||0 (0)|
|Denis GENREAU||Toulouse FC, France||1 (0)|
|Rhyan GRANT||Sydney FC, Australia||14 (0)|
|Ajdin HRUSTIC||Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany||7 (1)|
|Jackson IRVINE||FC St. Pauli, Germany||37 (6)|
|Paul IZZO (Gk)||Xanthi FC, Greece||0 (0)|
|James JEGGO||Aris Thessalonki, Greece||5 (0)|
|Awer MABIL||FC Midtjylland, Denmark||17 (4)|
|Ryan MCGOWAN||Kuwait SC, Kuwait||21 (0)|
|Riley MCGREE||Birmingham City FC, England||3 (0)`|
|Aaron MOOY||Shanghai Port FC, China||43 (6)|
|Tom ROGIC||Celtic FC, Scotland||47 (9)|
|Mathew RYAN (Gk)||Real Sociedad, Spain||61 (0)|
|Trent SAINSBURY||KV Kortrijk, Belgium||50 (3)|
|Brad SMITH||Seattle Sounders FC, United States of America||22 (0)|
|Harry SOUTTAR||Stoke City FC, England||5 (6)|
|Ryan STRAIN||Maccabi Haifa, Israel||0 (0)|
|Adam TAGGART||Cerezo Osaka, Japan||12 (6)|
|Lawrence THOMAS (Gk)||SønderjyskE Fodbold, Denmark||1 (0)|
|Danny VUKOVIC (Gk)||NEC Nijmegen, Netherlands||4 (0)|
|Bailey WRIGHT||Sunderland AFC, England||24 (1)|
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar (Final Round)
Australia v China PR
Date: Thursday, 2 September 2021
Venue: Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar
Kick-off: 9pm local (4am AEST – Friday, 3 September 2021)
Broadcast: Live and free in Australia on Network 10 – pre-game coverage from 3.30am AEST