Ange names the 23 Socceroos chasing Asian Cup glory

Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou has anointed a 23-man squad which will attempt to create history by lifting the Asian Cup next month in the biggest football tournament ever played on Australian soil.

Postecoglou slashed a provisional 46-man squad by half ruling out  all four uncapped players Mustafa Amini (Borussia Dortmund II), Luke Brattan (Brisbane Roar), Daniel De Silva (Perth Glory) and Josh Risdon (Perth Glory).

But Nathan Burns has been rewarded for his stellar form with Wellington Phoenix with a well deserved return to the green and gold.

Of the Socceroos World Cup squad, Postecoglou has kept faith with 16: Mark Bresciano, Tim Cahill, Jason Davidson, Ivan Franjic, Eugene Galekovic, Mile Jedinak, Mitch Langerak, Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Matt McKay, Mark Millgan, Tommy Oar, Mat Ryan, Matthew Spiranovic, James Troisi and Alex Wilkinson.

Along with Galekovic, McKay, Milligan and Spiranovic three other A-League players have been named – Terry Antonis, Tomi Juric and Burns.

Postecoglou stuck by James Davidson despite his struggles to break into the West Brom first team, while Melbourne Victory's Carl Valeri and Western Sydney Wanderers' Nikita Rukavytsya failed to make the squad after returning to the A-League. As expected World Cup veteran and Melbourne City marquee Josh Kennedy was scratched after lingering back problems.

Sydney FC's Terry Antonis finally gets his chance to impress after a car accident ruled him out of recent friendlies but teammate Bernie Ibini was ruled out despite stellar form for the Sky Blues of late.

Goalkeepers Brad Jones - who is getting an extended run with Liverpool - and Adam Federici of Reading, were not in the final squad.

Others to miss the cut include Oliver Bozanic (FC Luzern, Switzerland), Luke Brattan, (Brisbane Roar, Australia), Joshua Brillante, (ACF Fiorentina, Italy), Daniel De Silva,  (Perth Glory, Australia), Adam Federici (gk), (Reading FC, England), Ben Halloran, (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany), James Holland, (FK Austria Vienna, Austria), Ryan McGowan, (Shandong Luneng Taishan FC, China), Aaron Mooy, (Melbourne City, Australia), Mitch Nichols, (Perth Glory, Australia), Brad Smith, (Liverpool FC, England), Adam Taggart, (Fulham FC, England), Nikolai Topor-Stanley, (Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia), Dario Vidosic, (FC Sion, Switzerland), Rhys Williams, (Middlesbrough, England), and Bailey Wright, (Preston North End FC, England).

The Socceroos face Kuwait in the opening match of the tournament at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne on Friday 9 January (kick off 8pm AEDT).

Having now finalised his selection, Postecoglou is confident his 23-man squad will deliver a positive outcome at next month's tournament.

“It’s been almost six months in the making since the FIFA World Cup,” Postecoglou said.

“We’ve had a series of games where there have been some pretty clear objectives, particularly in terms of broadening the pool and seeing whether we could get some better balance in the squad and more depth."

“In the end, I’m pretty pleased with the 23 we’ve ended up with, there’s a good combination of the core of the group that went to the FIFA World Cup, there’s some experience there, but also a sprinkling of guys who will enhance the squad we took to the FIFA World Cup.”

The Socceroos will assemble in Melbourne for a pre-tournament training camp from Saturday 27 December.

“We've made sure that from a long way out we were well managed in terms of the individual progress of the players,” Postecoglou said.

“From our perspective, we’re pretty comfortable with this group that they’ll all be available and, more importantly, capable of playing out the whole tournament."

Socceroos squad for AFC Asian Cup 2015 Australia 

Terry Antonis, Sydney FC, Australia      

Aziz Behich, Bursaspor, Turkey          

Mark Bresciano, Al Gharafa, Qatar            

Nathan Burns, Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand          

Tim Cahill, New York Red Bulls, USA             

Jason Davidson, West Bromwich Albion F.C., England      

Ivan Franjic  FK Torpedo Moskva, Russia        

Eugene Galekovic (gk), Adelaide United, Australia          

Chris Herd, Aston Villa, England       

Mile Jedinak, Crystal Palace FC, England           

Tomi Juric, Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia            

Robbie Kruse, TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Germany       

Mitchell Langerak (gk), B.V. Borussia 09 Dortmund, Germany    

Mathew Leckie, FC Ingolstadt 04, Germany          

Massimo Luongo, Swindon Town FC, England         

Matt McKay, Brisbane Roar, Australia  

Mark Milligan, Melbourne Victory FC, Australia               

Tommy Oar, FC Utrecht, Netherlands              

Mat Ryan (gk), Club Brugge KV, Belgium             

Trent Sainsbury, P.E.C. Zwolle, Netherlands         

Matthew Spiranovic, Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia            

James Troisi, S.V. Zulte Waregem, Belgium    

Alex Wilkinson, Jeonbuk Hyundai FC, Korea Republic