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.

ULTIMATE GUIDE: Everything you need to know about how to watch September's qualifiers and more!

Aus v China

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.”

Socceroos Jordan
The Socceroos are set to commence their final round of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers next week

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

ULTIMATE GUIDE: Meet the squad - find out more about our 27 selected Socceroos