Wilkinson in, as Dilevski and Lazaridis withdraw
Central Coast Mariners defender Alex Wilkinson is a late inclusion into the Socceroos 22-man training squad that meets in Melbourne this week ahead of the Asian Cup qualifier against Kuwait. He takes the place of Spase Dilevski, who is out with a groin injury.
Central Coast Mariners defender Alex Wilkinson is a late inclusion into the Socceroos 22-man training squad that meets in Melbourne this week ahead of the Asian Cup qualifier against Kuwait.
The consistent defender comes into the camp after Queensland Roar defender Spase Dilevski was forced to withdraw from the three-day camp because of a groin injury.
Also forced out of the camp is World Cup squad member Stan Lazaridis, who has the flu and went back to Perth after missing Glory-s 3-0 loss to Sydney FC in Wollongong on Sunday. He is still expected to be right for Wednesday week-s match against Kuwait at Aussie Stadium in Sydney.
The 21-year-old Wilkinson was a consistent performer for the Mariners last season as they charged to the inaugural Hyundai A-League Grand Final and he was obviously overwhelmed by his late call-up.
"Obviously I'm honoured to have received a call up and hopefully I can make the most of this opportunity," Wilkinson said in a statement released by the Mariners.
"It's the biggest achievement a player can make in the game and I've not done it at senior level, so I can't wait."
Wilkinson coach at the Mariners Lawrie McKinna hailed the decision and has no doubts that his young defender will be around this team for many years to come.
"Alex is always one of the first names on the team sheet and the confidence he will gain from this experience will do wonders for his game and for the Mariners," said McKinna.
"I have no doubts that in future years you'll be seeing Alex included in more and more Socceroo squads. He definitely has the ability to become a key member of the Australian backline ahead of the next World Cup."
Wilkinson has previously represented Australia in the 2001 Under-17 World Championships and the 2003 World Youth Championships.
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold due to trim the squad down to 18 after this week's training camp.
Australia to face Jordan, Chinese Taipei, Kuwait, and Nepal in combined qualifiers
Australia will play Jordan, Chinese Taipei, Kuwait and Nepal in the first phase of their qualification journey to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022?. The official draw for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022? and AFC Asian Cup China 2023? ? Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 was held
Fixtures breakdown: All upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers for Caltex Socceroos
Caltex Socceroos fans, it?s time to get the green and gold jersey back out and get ready to support Graham Arnold?s side in what looms as a busy 12 months for the national team. With Wednesday night?s AFC qualifying draw for the FIFA World Cup 2022? now complete, the first par
Iredale to make fresh start at German club VfL Wolfsburg
Teenage Australian forward John Iredale has landed with German outfit VfL Wolfsburg. The 19-year-old, who was included in Caltex Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold?s inaugural training camp in Turkey in September 2018, will join up with the Wolves' under-23 side for the 2019/
LIVE STREAM: The Caltex Socceroos' FIFA World Cup draw
The first step in the Caltex Socceroos journey to the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar will be known tonight (Wednesday) with the official draw for the next phase of qualification in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). As one of the top-ranked nations in the AFC, Australia are