Melbourne Victory stars Mark Milligan and Carl Valeri have been named in the Socceroos provisional squad for the AFC Asian Cup 2015.
The squad, which will be trimmed to 23 before the tournament starts, reflects Head Coach Ange Postecoglou’s desire to broaden the base of players to strengthen the squad as it strives to rise to the challenge of facing Asia’s best nations on home soil from 9 January.
The provisional Socceroos squad contains:
- 30 players who have taken the field in five internationals since the World Cup. Plus a further two named in squads without taking the field.
- All 23 members of the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad.
- Four uncapped players
- 16 players from the Hyundai A-League.
“I’m happy with the depth of squad we have been able to name and it is now up to these 46 guys to ensure they are selected in the final squad for the Asian Cup and rise to the challenge ahead,” Postecoglou said.
“We have set about trying to broaden the depth of players and I’m happy with how that has transpired over the last five matches since the World Cup. We have a good group of players to choose from for what will be an exciting time for Australian football.”
Postecoglou has also offered an opportunity for Rhys Williams, Robbie Kruse and Josh Kennedy to push for a return to international tournament football after injury ruined their 2014 FIFA World Cup aspirations.
“Josh, Robbie and Rhys missed the World Cup through injury so it is nice to be able to select them in the provisional squad and there is no doubt their proven international record will give us a boost if they are named in the final squad of 23,” Postecoglou said.
There is also hope for Hyundai A-League players Terry Antonis, Luke Brattan, Nathan Burns, Daniel De Silva, Bernie Ibini-Isei, Tomi Juric, Aaron Mooy, Mitch Nichols, Josh Risdon, Nikita Rukavytsya, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, who have come into the frame after good early season domestic form.
“We still have three or four weeks before we finalise the squad so there is opportunity for all 46 players to push their claims for inclusion in the final list of 23.”
AFC Asian Cup Socceroos Squad announcement timetable:
- AFC Asian Cup regulations specify a squad of between 23-50 players must be nominated to the AFC by December 9.
- The final squad of 23 must be submitted by December 30.
- Players injured up to the start of the tournament can be replaced but the new player must come from the original list submitted on December 9.