New Roos Chris Ikonomidis, Luke DeVere, and Tarek Elrich have been called up by Ange Postecoglou for the Socceroos squad to face Germany and FYR Macedonia later this month.
Postecoglou has rewarded the heroes who won the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, with 18 members of the squad named alongside five players who have been given an opportunity to impress the Socceroos coaching staff.
Mark Bresciano, who recently retired from international football, injured duo Chris Herd and Robbie Kruse, Adelaide United goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic and Terry Antonis, who will be included in the Olyroos squad next week, are the only players not selected from the Asian Cup.
Coming into the squad are uncapped players DeVere, Ikonomidis and Elrich, Melbourne City midfielder Aaron Mooy and in-form Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici.
“This squad rewards the players who did a marvellous job in claiming the Asian Cup,” Postecoglou said. “Winning the Asian Cup was a great reward for the hard work the players put in but we have been pretty consistent in our approach that the Asian Cup win is the start of a journey, not the end.
“The games in Europe offer an opportunity for the likes of DeVere, Elrich, Mooy, Federici and young Chris Ikonomidis. We continue to have one eye on the four-year World Cup cycle and these players have an opportunity to show us how they’ll handle the step up to international level.”
The matches against Germany and FYR Macedonia are the final two friendly games before the Socceroos commence the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in June.
“We need to continue our development as we move forward from the Asian Cup victory and look towards the 2018 World Cup,” Postecoglou said. “These two matches will offer us another test and will be a good indication of what is required to take the next step.”
Australia has faced Germany three times in full internationals since the reunification of Germany. Germany defeated the Socceroos 4-3 at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup and 4-0 at the 2010 FIFA World Cup before the Socceroos beat Germany 2-1 in a friendly in 2011.
The Socceroos have played FYR Macedonia in one match, claiming a 1-0 victory in 1997 thanks to a late Aurelio Vidmar goal.
Socceroos squad for international friendly matches against Germany and FYR Macedonia
Adam Federici (gk)
Mitchell Langerak (gk)
Mat Ryan (gk)
Socceroo Match Details
Germany v Australia
Wednesday 25 March 2015
Kick-Off: 8:30pm (CET) (6:30am (AEDT), Thursday 26 March)
FYR Macedonia v Australia
National Arena Philip II of Macedonia Stadium, Skopje, FYR Macedonia
Monday 30 March 2015
Kick-Off: 9.00pm (CEST) (6:00am (AEDT), Tuesday 31 Marchcomments