Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou today announced the final 23-man squad for next month’s AFC Asian Cup.
Having fielded 42 different players in his 14 months at the helm of the national team, Postecoglou continues to add new faces to his roster, with in-form Wellington Phoenix striker Nathan Burns making the cut from the provisional squad after his ten goals in 11 A-League matches.
Postecoglou will be hoping Burns can help ease the reliance on Tim Cahill in front of the goal, with the New York Red Bull striker scoring eight of Australia’s 12 goals under their current manager. The inclusion of Juric comes with similar hope, with the Western Sydney striker capable of playing the role of target man so often filled by Cahill.
After much consideration, Postecoglou admitted he is happy with the squad he has at his disposal as he looked to guide the Socceroos to their first piece of silverware in Asia.
“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 squad will gather for a training camp on December 28 in preparation for their first match against Kuwait in Melbourne as the tournament’s opener on January 9.
Australia 23-man Asian Cup squad
Mat Ryan (Club Brugge/Belgium)
Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund/Germany)
Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United/Australia)
Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors/South Korea)
Ivan Franjic (Torpedo Moscow/Russia)
Trent Sainsbury (PEC Zwolle/Netherlands)
Aziz Behich (Bursaspor/Turkey)
Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers/Australia)
Chris Herd (Aston Villa/England)
Jason Davidson (West Bromwich Albion/England)
Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace/England)
Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory/Australia)
Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town/England)
Mark Bresciano (Al-Gharafa/Qatar)
Terry Antonis (Sydney FC/Australia)
Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht/Holland)
James Troisi (SV Zulte Waregem/Belgium)
Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar/Australia)
Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls/USA)
Robbie Kruse (Bayer Leverkusen/Germany)
Mathew Leckie (FC Ingolstadt 04/Germany)
Nathan Burns (Wellington Phoenix/New Zealand)
Tomi Juric (Western Sydney Wanderers/Australia)