Australia coach Ange Postecoglou has named his initial 30 man squad for Australia’s do-or-die World Cup qualifiers against Syria next month, which includes 22 of the 23 players originally named for the team’s most recent 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers with a wildcard thrown in.
With a week of club football matches yet to be played, Postecoglou still has time to finalise his 23-player squad that he will take with him to the crucial and ultimately four stressful play off matches.
One wild card is forgotten forward Nikita Rukavytsya who was named in the extended squad. The 30-year-old has 13 Socceroos caps to his name, his last appearance being in 2013 where he played in a friendly against Canada.
Rukavytsya currently plays for Israeli club Maccabi Haifa where he has scored four goals in seven appearances in both league and cup competitions this season. Prior to this he spent the 2014-15 A-League season playing for Western Sydney Wanderers.
The only exclusion from the original squad named for the team’s most recent 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers against Japan and Thailand is centre back Matthew Spiranovic, who has been playing in China’s second division.
“The players that we have selected for these crucial matches all have the benefit of several club matches under their belts over the past few weeks, and I am confident whichever 23 players we settle on will be able to do the job next month,” Postecoglou said in a media release.
Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan, Mitch Langerak, Danny Vukovic, Mark Birighitti
Defenders: Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Alex Gersbach, Matthew Jurman, Ryan McGowan, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Bailey Wright
Midfielders: Mustafa Amini, Craig Goodwin, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, James Jeggo, Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Awer Mabil, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic, James Troisi
Forwards: Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Jamie Maclaren, Nikita Rukavytsya