Australia head coach Ange Postecoglou named Monday the bulk of his Asian Cup champions squad to face Kyrgyzstan in the opening 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Bishkek on June 16.
There are no uncapped players and 19 members of the AFC Asian Cup winning squad from January, with Postecoglou declaring the group as the “core of the squad that will take us through to the next World Cup”.
Tim Cahill, Matthew Spiranovic and Eugene Galekovic return after missing the recent matches against Germany and Macedonia with Aaron Mooy, Adam Federici and Luke Devere left out.
“This is the start of the next chapter in our journey and we are all excited about what lies ahead over the next two years,” Postecoglou said.
“We’ve been open in our desire to make an impact at the 2018 World Cup but first we need to qualify and that task is immediately in front of us.
“We’ve selected a relatively settled squad made up of the core of players that brought success at the Asian Cup but also the core of players that will take us through to the next World Cup.
“No Australian football team has ever been to Kyrgyzstan so we have done a lot of research, including a reconnaissance trip to Bishkek, to make sure we are well prepared for what will not be an easy task.”
Australia – Aziz Behich (Bursaspor/TUR), Oliver Bozanic (FC Luzern/SUI), Nathan Burns (Wellington Phoenix/NZL), Tim Cahill (Shanghai Shenhua/CHN), Jason Davidson (West Bromwich Albion/ENG), Tarek Elrich (Adelaide United/AUS), Ivan Franjic (Unattached), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United/AUS), Chris Ikonomidis (Lazio/ITA), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace/ENG), Tomi Juric (Western Sydney Wanderers/AUS), Mitch Langerak (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Mathew Leckie (FC Ingolstadt/GER), Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town/ENG), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar/AUS), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory/AUS), Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht/NED), Mat Ryan (Club Brugge,BEL), Trent Sainsbury (PEC Zwolle/NED), Matt Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers/AUS), James Troisi (Zulte Waregem/BEL), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai/KOR), Bailey Wright (Preston North End/ENG).