The first six A-League All Stars players for 2014 have been named with Josh Rose, Storm Roux, Sasa Ognenovski, Ali Abbas, Matthew Spiranovic and Tomi Juric getting the nod from fans to face Serie A champions Juventus.
The players from NSW clubs - Central Coast Mariners, Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers - will join captain and ex-Sky Blues star Alessandro Del Piero in a match up against his former club next month.
The remaining fan-selected players will be announced throughout this week as well as head coach Josep Gombau’s four wild card picks.
FFA chief David Gallop said: “The match will showcase the best talent from the Hyundai A-League against truly world class opposition with 12 players from the Juventus squad appearing at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“I’m sure that fans will get behind this group of players in the Foxtel A-League All Stars squad for this once in a lifetime event.”
Mariners defender, Roux, receives his first call-up to the All Stars squad after a stellar A-League 2013/14 season while teammate, Rose, makes a return appearance after lining-up in the inaugural match against Manchester United last year.
“I think last year when I made it I said it’s a great reward for all of the hard work, and same again this year – it’s something to look forward to and something that I’ll remember forever,” Rose said.
“It’s a great opportunity for the A-League guys, a chance to enjoy the experience and test ourselves against world class opponents.”
Former Socceroo, Ognenovski - who made 22 appearances for the national team and was named the AFC Asian Player of the year in 2010 – is looking forward to the Juve challenge.
“You always want to play against the best teams and the best players in the world, and it will be a good test against Juventus,” the Sydney central defender said.
“These are once in a lifetime games against once in a lifetime opponents, so to play against them and alongside Del Piero in a game like this, against a club he was a legend at, will be an amazing experience.”
Fellow Sky Blue, Abbas, played every minute of every game last season, scoring two goals in the process, and picking up the 2013/14 Sydney Players’ Player of the Year and Members’ Player of the Year awards.
Western Sydney central defender, Spiranovic, had the perfect preparation for the match, starting in all three of the Socceroos 2014 World Cup games after a standout season for the red and black, while the club's 22-year-old striker, Juric, has enjoyed a meteoric rise since joining the A-League last year. The possibility of leading the line against Juventus is yet another significant milestone in his fledgling career.
“It’s going to be an exciting game and it’s going to be a big stage for all of us that we’re all looking forward to,” Juric said.
“I’m very excited and feel privileged about being selected in the squad to take on Juventus in my home city.”
The A-League All Stars take on Juventus at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Sunday August 10 with the match to be broadcast live and exclusive across the nation on the Seven Network.
For all the news on the Foxtel A-League All Stars, visit www.a-leagueallstars.com.au