Uncapped trio selected in Socceroos squad

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou says his Asian Cup winners will have a fantastic test when they play world champions Germany in their own backyard.

All but five of his victorious Asian Cup squad have been retained for international friendlies against Germany and Macedonia later this month.

Luke DeVere, Chris Ikonomidis and Tarek Elrich have the chance to earn their first caps, while Aaron Mooy and goalkeeper Adam Federici also join the squad.

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Italy-based Ikonomidis is the squad’s bolt from the blue, yet to feature in his club side Lazio’s first team.

But Postecoglou said the 19-year-old’s inclusion came after a thorough scouting effort.

“There is not a player on this planet – or any other planet if we’ve got any there – that won’t be looked at by me,” he said.

“We’re giving him an opportunity and exposure into the national team camp … and hopefully give him some encouragement when he goes back to his club to push on.

“This squad is a combination of rewarding players who were successful during the Asian Cup but also having a little bit of an eye to the future and rewarding good form in the A-League.”

Missing from the Asian Cup squad is Mark Bresciano (retired), Chris Herd and Robbie Kruse (injured), Eugene Galekovic (overlooked) and Terry Antonis (Olyroos duty).

Postecoglou said Mooy, who was unlucky to miss selection in January’s Asian Cup triumph, could forge an international career similar to his fellow attacking midfielder.

“With Bresciano retiring, there’s an opportunity there in an attacking midfield role for someone to take that spot and build,” he said.

“Aaron’s earned his selection … we’ve always had him earmarked as someone we’d give an opportunity to.”

Postecoglou said the inclusion of DeVere and Elrich came as he felt his side was still “light on” defence.

Brisbane Roar defender DeVere has shone on his return to the A-League after four years with South Korean club Gyeongnam FC, while Elrich has been a consistent performed at Adelaide United.

“It’s still an area of the park where we need to create more depth,” Postecoglou said.

The Socceroos take on the World Cup holders in Kaiserslautern on March 25, with their visit to the Macedonian capital five days later.

Kaiserlslautern’s Fritz-Walter-Stadion holds special memories for the Socceroos as the site of their first World Cup win over Japan in 2006, followed by their exit a fortnight later to Italy.

Not one for nostalgia, the Socceroos boss said he couldn’t even remember where he was when those matches took place.

Instead he urged his side to write a new piece of history by taking the challenge up to the world’s best team.

“It’s a great opportunity to play the world champions, very significant,” he said.

“To play them in their own backyard is going to be a fantastic test for the players.”

“The team’s grown enormously over the last 16 months, but there’s no greater measure of where you’re at.”


Goalkeepers: Adam Federici (Reading, England), Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Mat Ryan (Club Brugge, Belgium).

Defenders: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor, Turkey), Jason Davidson (West Bromwich Albion, England), Luke DeVere (Brisbane Roar), Tarek Elrich (Adelaide United), Ivan Franjic (Torpedo Moscow, Russia), Trent Sainsbury (PEC Zwolle, Holland), Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai, Korea).

Midfielders: Chris Ikonomidis (Lazio, Italy), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace, England), Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town, England), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City), James Troisi (Zulte Waregem, Belgium).

Forwards: Nathan Burns (Wellington Phoenix), Tim Cahill (Shanghai Shenua, China), Tomi Juric (Western Sydney Wanderers), Mathew Leckie (FC Ingolstadt 04, Germany), Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht, Holland).


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