With less than eight months to go until the World Cup, big changes are afoot for the Socceroos as we prepare for the announcement that Ange Postecoglou is taking over from Holder Osieck.

There are only a few friendlies between now and June next year to get an under fire squad in shape and with that in mind, I decided to pick a squad of 23 players who should be on the plane to Brazil.

Goalkeepers

Mark Schwarzer
The veteran’s stock has dropped considerably this season following his move to the Chelsea subs bench. I’m a believer that your first choice goalkeeper at international level needs to be someone playing week in, week out and unfortunately that isn’t the case for Schwarzer. He will still go to Brazil but should only be there in a support role for the others in the squad.

Mitchell Langerak
Another who isn’t playing regularly, Langerak has at least seen some Champions League action for Borussia Dortmund. He is many people’s favourite to start between the posts but, like Schwarzer, should be behind someone who is putting in consistently excellent performances.

Mathew Ryan
Since making the switch from the Central Coast Mariners to Club Brugge, 21 year old Ryan has been superb form as the club’s first choice keeper. Brugge currently sit second in the Jupiler League and if Ryan continues to earn rave reviews he should be the Socceroos’ number one come Brazil.

Stand by: Eugene Galekovic

Defenders

Lucas Neill
Like it or not, Lucas Neill will be going to the World Cup barring injury. Yes, he’s no longer the player he was and his comments of late have been disappointing to say the least, but his experience, like that of Schwarzer’s is invaluable. He wouldn’t be in my starting eleven though.

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Rhys Williams
The Middlebrough captain offers versatility in defence, something that is very important at a major tournament. Thankfully he appears to be over the long term injuries that have blighted his recent seasons and should be a starter.

Jason Davidson
The 22 year old has been performing well for Eredivisie side Heracles and is more than a viable option for the troublesome left back spot.

Trent Sainsbury
Sainsbury’s performances for the Central Coast Mariners have earned rave reviews and attracted interest from clubs in Europe. Probably sensibly, he has stuck around the A-League for 2013/14 and another good campaign should see him in contention for a spot.

Sasa Ognenovski
At 34, Ognenovski is on his last legs but still has something to offer for the World Cup. A strong centre half, he could still hold down a starting place if the new man in charge has the balls to drop Neill.

Michael Zullo
Left back has been a problem position for the Socceroos in recent years. Matt McKay is a midfielder, Adama Traore isn’t eligible and David Carney…yeah. Zullo made a very shrewd move when he joined Adelaide United for the season and has performed very well in his first two A-League games.

Ryan McGowan
The 24 year old has been playing his club football in China, performing well by all accounts, and worked his way into the international fold over the past 12 months. Like Williams, he offers flexibility and can play anywhere across the back four or even in midfield if required.

Stand by: Luke Wilkshire, Robert Cornthwaite

Midfielders

Mile Jedinak
Crystal Palace skipper Jedinak is a firm fan favourite with fans of the London club and he was instrumental in their promotion to the Premier League for this season. At international level though, there are many still to be convinced by his performances.

James Holland
The FK Austria Wien midfielder has made over 50 appearances for the club since joining in 2012 following a successful trial. The fact that he is currently involved in a Champions League campaign weighs heavily in his favour, and he would add depth to the middle of the park.

Matt McKay
If McKay is to make the squad then it has to be as a midfielder and not a left back. His return to Brisbane after a few uncertain seasons will certainly help his case for inclusion.

Mark Bresciano
While some of the other Socceroos veterans have come in for criticism recently, Bresciano seems to have stayed in the good books of supporters. His passing ability and vision are still excellent so that alone gets him a place.

Dario Vidosic
If Vidosic can fulfil his potential, he is probably the man to take over from Bresciano long term in midfield. A good start to his career at FC Sion following the $700,000 transfer from Adelaide United has included a game saving double in their recent draw with Young Boys.

Brett Holman
Holman may reject suggestions that he has settled for the early stages of retirement by moving to the Middle East but the drop in standard is massive from that of the Premier League where he was in and out of the Aston Villa team last season. At 29, this should be his last World Cup and, while he isn’t someone I would want to see starting in Brazil, he could offer something from the bench.

Mark Milligan
Melbourne Victory man Milligan has been excellent since his return to the A-League last season and will probably be one of the first names on the team sheet under Postecoglou.

Tommy Oar
Flying winger Oar has done well with FC Utrecht since making the switch from Brisbane Roar in 2010. He has all the attributes needed to be the Marco Rojas in Ange’s set up.

Tom Rogic
While Rogic has undoubted talent, the fact of the matter is that is not getting a game in the Scottish Premier League at the moment. That will have to change for him to expect a starting spot for the Socceroos, but even if it doesn’t he still worth a place in the 23.

Stand by: Jackson Irvine, Ivan Franjic

Forwards

Tim Cahill
Cahill has been rolling back the years in recent weeks with some superb performance for the New York Red Bulls. Indeed, just last weekend he scored the fastest goal in Major League Soccer history. Cahill has given his all for the cause down through the years and if the World Cup is to be his international swansong, you can count on him wanting to go out on a high.

Joshua Kennedy
The man who scored the goal that got the Socceroos to Brazil is still a very important member of the squad. While Postecoglou is not renowned for ‘lump it up to the big man’ tactics, Kennedy could still be a handy option to have on the bench should things get desperate.

Robbie Kruse
Kruse has probably been the best of the forwards in recent internationals and has developed well since his switch to Germany. At 25, now is the time for him to command a spot as one of the team’s focal points.

Nikita Rukavytsya
Another forward in his mid-20s playing in Germany, Rukavytsya is currently on loan with FSV Frankfurt in the second tier. It’s a smart move for him as playing regularly in a World Cup year is crucial. His pace could come in handy in Postecoglou’s system.

Stand by: Mathew Leckie, Mitchell Duke / Tomi Juric

Agree? Disagree? Let us know who you want in the squad for Brazil!

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Neil has covered the Perth Glory and the Hyundai A-League for five years and is one of Western Australia's most knowledgeable football journalists.