Bert Van Marwijk Names Australia's 23-Man Squad For 2018 FIFA World Cup
'I believe this group of players can do Australia proud'
Bert van Marwijk has named his Australia’s 23-player squad heading to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia this month.
After weeks of speculation, Van Marwijk’s final selection features three players from the Hyundai A-League -- Daniel Arzani, Dimitri Petratos, and Josh Risdon -- as well as two players who have now gained selection for Australia in four consecutive FIFA World Cup squads -- Tim Cahill and Mark Milligan.
The exclusions are James Troisi, Josh Brillante, Nikita Rukavytsya and Fran Karacic.
At 19 years old, Daniel Arzani will be the youngest Australian man to play in a World Cup. It will be Tim Cahill's fourth time, along with Mark Milligan, while skipper Mile Jedinak is back for World Cup number three.
“I have been very pleased with the effort and application of all of the players during our time in Turkey, and in Austria” said van Marwijk.
“Every step of the selection process has been difficult because the players have all given everything to make the final selection.”
“However considering many factors, we have now settled on our final squad for Russia. I believe this group of players can do Australia proud at the world’s biggest football tournament if we continue to work collectively and intensively over the next two weeks and into the competition,” he said.
Australia’s squad at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia is evenly spread, and features three goalkeepers, seven defenders, six midfielders, and seven attackers. Many players also possess the versatility to slot into a range of roles if required.
From the 27 players involved in the Turkey camp and Czech Republic friendly, Fran Karacic, Josh Brillante, James Troisi, and Nikita Rukavytsya have missed out on the final squad.
And here's the details of the full squad:
* DANIEL ARZANI. Age: 19. Club: Melbourne City (Australia). Position: Forward. Caps: 1. Goals: 0. The A-League's young footballer of the year has dazzling skills and innate goal-scoring sense. Could be the youngest man in Russia.
* AZIZ BEHICH. Age: 27. Club: Bursaspor (Turkey). Position: Defender. Caps: 22. Goals: 2. Left-back with a happy knack of drifting forward, solidified his spot during the qualification campaign to be first-choice.
* TIM CAHILL. Age: 38. Millwall FC (England). Position: Forward. Caps: 105. Goals: 50. Among the nation's greatest-ever sportsmen, could become the fourth man to score at four consecutive World Cups.
* MILOS DEGENEK. Age: 24. Club: Yokohama F. Marinos (Japan). Position: Defender. Caps: 18. Goals: 0. Contender for right-back but, tough and uncompromising, also adept in a central defensive post.
* JACKSON IRVINE. Age: 25. Club: Hull City (England). Position: Midfielder. Caps: 18. Goals: 2. Smooth-moving, looms as a solid bench option given the squeeze for starting midfield spots. Can play as a 10 or deeper.
* MILE JEDINAK. Age: 33. Club: Aston Villa FC (England). Position: Midfielder. Caps: 75. Goals: 18. Stoic captain as a holding midfielder but also used in defence at Aston Villa. Appearing at his third World Cup.
* BRAD JONES. Age: 36. Club: Feyenoord Rotterdam (Netherlands). Position: Goalkeeper. Caps: 5. Goals: 0. Recalled after a four-year absence, withdrew from Australia's 2010 World Cup squad when his son was diagnosed with leukaemia.
* TOMI JURIC. Age: 26. Club: FC Luzern (Switzerland). Position: Forward. Caps: 34. Goals: 8. Strong striker who established himself as the frontman in attack during the qualification campaign but carrying a knee issue.
* MATTHEW JURMAN. Age: 28. Club: Suwon Samsung Bluewings (Korea Republic). Position: Defender. Caps: 4. Goals: 0. Strong defender who moved to South Korea from Sydney FC to press his claims as a starting centre-back.
* ROBBIE KRUSE. Age: 29. Club: VfL Bochum (Germany). Position: Midfielder. Caps: 63. Goals: 5. Attacking midfielder with dash and dare, often a whipping boy of fans expecting more from his talent.
* MATHEW LECKIE. Age 27. Club: Hertha BSC (Germany). Position: Forward. Caps: 52. Goals: 8. Bustling and speedy, has impressed in the Bundesliga and is a key cog in Australia's starting line-up, as shown by his double against Czech Republic.
* MASSIMO LUONGO. Age: 25. Club: Queens Park Rangers FC (England). Position: Midfielder. Caps: 35. Goals: 5. Classy customer continuing to blossom after being player of the tournament in the 2015 Asian Cup.
* JAMIE MACLAREN. Age: 24. Club: Hibernian FC (Scotland). Position: Forward. Caps: 6. Goals: 0. Goal poacher that was ditched from calculations only to win a reprieve due to Juric's knee issues. Adds a new dimension in attack.
* JAMES MEREDITH. Age: 30. Club: Millwall FC (England). Position: Defender. Caps: 2. Goals: 0. Experienced and versatile defender who hasn't featured for his country since late in 2015. Makes the cut as back up on the left.
* MARK MILLIGAN. Age: 32. Club: Al Ahli SC (Saudi Arabia). Position: Midfielder. Caps: 67. Goals: 6. Competitive leader, made his name in midfield but looms as one of van Marwijk's preferred central defenders.
* AARON MOOY. Age: 27. Club: Huddersfield Town (England). Position: Midfielder. Caps: 33. Goals: 5. A linchpin in midfield, can play holding or attacking roles and has upper-class foot skills.
* ANDREW NABBOUT. Age: 25. Club: Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan). Position: Forward. Caps: 3. Goals: 1. The converted winger caught the eye of the new coach in the A-League, then moved to Japan.
* DIMITRI PETRATOS. Age: 25. Club: Newcastle Jets (Australia). Position: Forward. Caps: 2. Goals: 0. Attacking midfielder rewarded for a stellar domestic season, won out in a scrap to make the final cut.
* JOSH RISDON. Age: 25. Club: Western Sydney Wanderers (Australia). Position: Defender. Caps: 7. Goals: 0. Might just have won the right-back role with a fine showing against the Czechs, showing his fine fitness and speed.
* TOM ROGIC. Age: 25. Club: Celtic FC (Scotland). Position: Midfielder. Caps: 36. Goals: 7. The lanky midfielder holds much of Australia's X-Factor, with a genuine touch of magic and a lethal left-foot strike.
* MATHEW RYAN. Age: 26. Club: Brighton & Hove Albion FC (England). Position: Goalkeeper. Caps: 43. Goals: 0. First-choice shot-stopper since the 2014 World Cup, his stocks continue to rise in the EPL.
* TRENT SAINSBURY. Age: 26. Club: Grasshopper Club Zurich (Switzerland). Position: Defender. Caps: 34. Goals: 3. Has made a centre-back posting his own with a string of composed displays and took the armband in Austria.
* DANIEL VUKOVIC. Age: 33. Club: KRC Genk (Belgium). Position: Goalkeeper. Caps: 1. Goals: 0. Moved to Belgium after more than a decade of distinguished domestic seasons, winning a deputy role behind Ryan.