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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 14 May 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 14 MAY 2016 27 Postecoglou names 23-man squad for England friendly Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has cast his net both near and far in introducing five new players to the 23-man Socceroos squad for the forthcoming 27 May friendly against England at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland. The squad includes seven A-League players, including three names selected for the first time by Postecoglou as the Socceroos coach. They include Adelaide United duo Stefan Mauk and Craig Goodwin, who returns to the Socceroos squad for the first time under Postecoglou. Brisbane Roar striker also earns a first-time call-up. Less familiar names from far-distant places are utility player Milos Dejenek, from the second tier of the Bundesliga, and Brad Inman from League One division in England. The new faces come into the squad because the England friendly falls outside the FIFA window, meaning that Chinese and Japanese-based Socceroos such as Tim Cahill, Trent Sainsbury, Nathan Burns and Matthew Spiranovic, as well as recent debutant Apostolos Giannou, won't be available due to domestic club commitments. "We've had to cast the net far and wide again,” says Postecoglou. “At the same time I think we've come up with a squad that will be really competitive on the day. More importantly for me, it gives me a chance to see further growth in some players, playing against the best possible opposition." Of the new A-League selections, the Socceroos coach says "I think with the [A-League] finals concept in Australia, you can get a good look at how players perform under pressure”. “That's very important,” he says. “It's very important to what happens in international level in one-off games. Jamie McLaren deserves it on the bulk of his season anyway, but even in the finals he stood up. The other two, Craig [Goodwin] and Stefan Mauk, particularly in that finals series, were outstanding, and grand final day was very good in a high-quality game. Under pressure in front of a big crowd, they performed well. So we give them the opportunity to be involved and for us to have a closer look at them." Coach Postecoglou sees the friendly as a very important opportunity to test his team against the best. He told Fox Sports: "We want to know if our game style and game plan will stand up against the very best." He emphasises that this is what the Socceroos have to be able to do if they are to achieve their ultimate goal of not just qualifying for the World Cup, but performing well and progressing past the group stage. Alluding to the previous occasion when Australia played England in a friendly 13 years ago, when the Socceroos caused a major upset, he says: "I'd hate to think we're still at the stage as a football nation where we're looking at friendly results to give us validation ... hopefully we're past trying to get feathers in caps in friendlies. I think our football's progressed since then. “I think a feather in our cap would be to beat England or a team like England at a World Cup. I think we're more recognised now as a footballing country. Friendly games are very important for preparing teams for what's ahead. For us, it's preparing for the World Cup qualifiers. For England it's more narrow. It's about preparing for the Euros (in June). You know, if we win, I don't think it will necessarily be a feather in our cap. “What's more important for me is that we play well and continue progressing our football. As a nation we should be looking for feathers in caps in major tournaments rather than friendlies." Next week Postecoglou will name his squad for the two friendlies against Greece in June. SOCCEROOS SQUAD Player Club Caps (goals) KEEPERS: Adam Federici (Bournemouth, ENG) 15 (0) Mitch Langerak (VFB Stuttgart, GER) 6 (0) Mathew Ryan (Valencia, SPA) 23 (0) DEFENDERS: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor, TUR), 11 (2) Milos Degenek (1860 Munich, GER) - Josh Risdon (Perth Glory) 2 (0) Brad Smith (Liverpool, ENG) 6 (0) Alex Wilkinson (Sydney FC) 16 (0) Bailey Wright (Preston North End, ENG) 10 (1) MIDFIELDERS: Brad Inman (Crewe Alexandra, ENG) - Jackson Irvine (Ross County, SCO) 2 (0) Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace, ENG) 62 (12) Massimo Luongo (QPR, ENG) 19 (0) Stefan Mauk (Adelaide United) Matthew McKay (Brisbane Roar) 58 (2) Mark Milligan (Baniyas, UAE) 46 (5) Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City) 13 (5) Tom Rogic (Celtic, SCO) 15 (5) ATTACKERS: Craig Goodwin (Sparta Rotterdam, NETH) 2 (0) Chris Ikonomidis (Salernitana, ITA) 3 (0) Tomi Juric (Roda JC, NETH) 15 (2) Robbie Kruse (Bayer Leverkusen, GER) 40 (4) Jamie Maclaren (Brisbane Roar) ENGLAND v SOCCEROOS Saturday 28 May Stadium of Light, Sunderland 4.45 am (AEST) TV: Live and exclusive on Fox Sports SPORT Adelaide United midfielder Stefan Mauk gets a firsttime call-up to the Socceroos. PHOTO: MICHAEL DODGE/ GETTY IMAGES.
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