Who are the new additions to the Socceroos' Asian Cup squad?

Ahead of the Subway Socceroos’ AFC Asian Cup 2023 campaign, we take a look at the newest additions to the senior squad that could earn their first senior caps at the tournament.

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John Iredale

An early call up in Graham Arnold's tenure back in 2018, John Iredale has two appearances to his name each for the Subway Young Socceroos and Subway Olyroos.

He currently resides at SV Wehen Wiesbaden in the 2. Bundesliga, where he has primarily been a super-sub, starting five of his twelve appearances this season.

In his most recent game, Iredale came off the bench to net a late equaliser against Jackson Irvine and Conor Metcalfe’s FC St. Pauli, and the forward has been a consistent, active threat whether starting or coming off the bench for his side.

Iredale’s stats are impressive, accumulated via his substitute appearances at crucial late stages of matches, where, if holding a lead, there’s more space for counter-attacks, and if looking for a goal, more of an emphasis on attacks.

He has a non-penalty xG of 0.34 per 90 and has scored 0.43 per game. Iredale has also completed 1.73 dribbles per match (a high amount compared to other strikers), as well as ranking well for touches in the opposition box (6.94 per 90).

As an uncapped player, Iredale may feature off the bench and his stats and ability in that role bode well for the Socceroos’ Asian Cup performances.

Speaking on Iredale’s inclusion, Graham Arnold said “John Iredale is someone I had in camp at the very start of my reign.

“He’s one that I’ve admired for a long time because he’s got that strength and skill, and he’s starting to do well in the Bundesliga Two.

“He can play not only as a number nine but also ten and a seven (attacking midfielder and winger).

“It gives us more variety in the front line as well, and as I’ve said before, I’ve obviously got one eye on the Asian Cup but I’ve got two eyes on the World Cup and qualifying directly.

“I think you can see by this squad, when I first took over in 2018 I didn’t have anywhere near this depth.”

Graham Arnold on Gethin Jones and John Iredale selections

Gethin Jones

The 28-year-old right-back and centre-back currently plies his trade for Bolton Wanderers in the English League One, with his side placing third in the league, two points from second place, where a win in their game in hand would take them into the automatic promotion zone.

Jones has participated in 86% of the starting eleven minutes in the league this campaign, making 18 appearances.

The new Australian international is in his fourth season for Bolton, whom he joined after a lone campaign at Carlisle United.

Jones has become a mainstay at the Wanderers and is just eight appearances shy of the 150 mark after joining on a free transfer in 2020.

He has come up through the Everton academy, in which he won the U21 Premier League trophy, and last campaign, became a Football League Trophy Winner with Bolton.

Speaking on Jones, Graham Arnold said “I was very impressed with him, as I said when I watched him at Bolton Wanderers.”

“Gethin is one that was born in Perth.

“He lived there until he was eight, nine years of age before he headed back to the UK.

“He’s always wanted to play for Australia, and he’s played for Wales at junior level.

“He’s had the privilege of playing with Harry Souttar before, and he’s a great addition to the squad.

“With the Ryan Strain injury, it gave us the opportunity to bring him in”.

Patrick Yazbek

Patrick Yazbek has seen a successful campaign with Viking FK in Norway rewarded with an Asian Cup call-up following to his train on status during the Socceroos' recent camp to face England and New Zealand during October 2023. 

The young midfielder began his senior career at Sydney FC, featuring 43 times over a span of two seasons, before earning a €475,000 transfer to Viking. He has also represented the Subway Olyroos 11 times since 2021 including the 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup.

Yazbek is a versatile, active player, capable of playing a more reserved midfield role or influencing play from higher up the pitch, with good movement and a tidy skillset on the ball.

He enjoyed a good season with Viking, playing 67% of their matches from the start, and registering two goals and five assists in his 26 total appearances.

Yazbek averaged 0.38 goal contributions per match - an impressive amount for a midfielder - while demonstrating his ability to retain possession and keep his team’s tempo and ball-speed high.

With Norway’s competition currently in offseason, Yazbek won’t be missing club game-time, and could instead see himself making his full senior Australian debut at the Asian Cup.

AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ - Australia's Group B Matches

Australia v India
Date: Saturday, 13 January 2024
Venue: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Kick-off: 2:30pm local, 10:30pm (AEDT)

Syria v Australia
Date: Thursday, 18 January 2024
Venue: Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, Doha
Kick-off: 2:30pm local, 10:30pm (AEDT)

Australia v Uzbekistan
Date: Tuesday, 23 January 2024
Venue: Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Kick-off: 2:30pm local, 10:30pm (AEDT)

A PDF version of the Match Schedule can be found HERE.