Socceroos Head Coach Ange Postecoglou has recalled experienced trio Robbie Kruse, Matthew Spiranovic and Mitch Langerak and included a host of fresh faces in the squad for crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Adelaide and Sydney later this month.
Postecoglou has made nine changes to the squad that defeated Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh last November with uncapped players Jason Geria, Alex Gerbasch and Apostolos Giannou joined by Brad Smith, Chris Ikonomidis and Terry Antonis.
“It’s great to be able to bring experienced players like Robbie Kruse, Mitch Langerak and Matthew Spiranovic back into the squad after missing recent matches but it is equally exciting to see how a fresh crop of young players can fit into how we train and what we are trying to achieve,” Postecoglou said.
“We’ve worked hard on creating depth over the last two years and we now have a very solid and experienced spine to this team but we must also continually give players an opportunity if we want to make an impact on the world stage.
“This squad contains a group of young players who we are bringing in while they are in form and taking good strides forward both here in the Hyundai A-League and various leagues around the world.
“Getting that balance between winning football matches and giving players an opportunity is something we have been doing for two years and during that time we have had success and haven’t been let down by any of the young players.”
The Caltex Socceroos go into the final two matches in this stage of FIFA World Cup Qualifying on top of Group B and will progress to the next round if they finish on top of Group B or finish as one of the best four second-placed teams from the eight groups.
“We are faced with two very important World Cup Qualifiers against Tajikistan in Adelaide and then Jordan in Sydney,” Postecoglou said. “We have seen throughout the qualifiers that these teams offer unique challenges and this will be no different.
“The primary focus for us is to make sure we continue to play our brand of football that will deliver short term success while building towards the bigger picture.
“This is the first time we have had back to back matches in Australia during this World Cup qualifying campaign and we look forward to seeing the Socceroo fans in Adelaide and Sydney come out to get behind the team.”
The Caltex Socceroos matches against Tajikistan (Adelaide) and Jordan (Sydney) will be broadcast exclusively LIVE on FOX SPORTS and on a one hour delay on SBS.
Caltex Socceroo 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Match Details
Australia v Tajikistan
24 March 2016
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Kick off 7.30pm (8pm AEDT)
Australia v Jordan
29 March 2016
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
8pm kick off (AEDT)
Name Club, Country A International Caps (Goals)
F.C. Tokyo, JAPAN
Hangzhou Greentown F.C., CHINA
A.F.C. Bournemouth, ENGLAND
Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA
Rosenborg BK, NORWAY
Guangzhou R&F F.C., CHINA
U.S. Salernitana 1919, ITALY
Crystal Palace F.C, ENGLAND
Bayer 04 Leverkusen, GERMANY
VfB Stuttgart, GERMANY
FC Ingolstadt 04, GERMANY
Queens Park Rangers F.C., ENGLAND
Henan Jianye F.C., CHINA
Baniyas F.C., UAE
Melbourne City F.C, AUSTRALIA
Perth Glory FC, AUSTRALIA
Celtic FC, SCOTLAND
Valencia CF, SPAIN
Jiangsu Suning F.C., CHINA
Liverpool FC, ENGLAND
Hangzhou Greentown F.C., CHINA
Preston North End F.C, ENGLAND