Australian football supporters were left gasping at some of Bert van Marwijk’s inclusions and omissions in his first Socceroos squad announcement for this month’s upcoming friendlies.

A-League starlet Daniel Arzani and in-form Kaiserslautern winger Brandon Borrello were controversially overlooked leaving the door open for Iran to claim the former who is eligible for either national team.

Perhaps the biggest surprise came through the inclusion of uncapped and relatively unknown defender Aleksandar Susnjar who plays for Czech side FK Mlada Boleslav.

The persistent cries for several of the A-League’s most consistent performers to be rewarded with national team call-ups were answered through Dimitri Petratos, Josh Brillante and Andrew Nabbout’s inclusions.

Embed from Getty Images

James Troisi and Josh Risdon round out a contingent of five A-League players in van Marwijk’s squad which shocked many following the Dutchman’s ill-fated comments last week.

After watching matches all over the world van Marwijk was impressed with just one of the three A-League matches he attended live suggesting his view on the standard of Australia’s domestic football isn’t fantastic.

“Since my appointment with the Socceroos, my staff, scouts and I have monitored over 100 Australian players in the A-League, as well as in leagues across Europe and Asia,” van Marwijk said.

Embed from Getty Images

“It was different, the level of the games, but I saw one good game.”

Tim Cahill made the cut despite playing 18 minutes of senior football since arriving at Millwall while teammate James Meredith becomes one of three left backs in the squad with the 29-year-old amassing 35 appearances this season.

The feel-good story is 35-year-old goalkeeper Brad Jones who returns to the national fold for the first time in four years following consistent performances in the Eredivisie, guiding Feyenoord to the League title last year.

Embed from Getty Images

Van Marwijk’s initial squad gives an indication of the type of players he wants to take part in Russia although he confirmed they are far from certain to retain their spot.

“Our upcoming matches provide a great chance for the players selected to press their claims for Russia, however the door remains ajar for all players not picked for the March window,” he said.

The preliminary squad will be trimmed next week before taking on Norway (March 23 in Oslo) and Colombia (March 27 in London).

 

SQUAD

GOALKEEPERS

Mat Ryan (Brighton and Hove Albion FC, England), Danny Vukovic (KRC Genk, Belgium), Mitch Langerak (Nagoya Grampus, Japan), Brad Jones (Feyenoord, Holland)

DEFENDERS

Aziz Behich (Bursaspor, Turkey), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos, Japan), Alex Gersbach (Lens, France), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Bluewings, Korea), James Meredith (Millwall, England), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney), Trent Sainsbury (Grasshoppers Zurich, Switzerland), Aleksandar Susnjar (FK Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic), Bailey Wright (Bristol City, England)

MIDFIELDERS

Josh Brillante (Sydney FC), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa, England), Jackson Irvine (Hull, England), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers, England), Mark Milligan (Al Ahli, Saudi Arabia), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield, England), Tom Rogic (Celtic, Scotland), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory)

FORWARDS

Tim Cahill (MIllwall, England), Tomi Juric (FC Luzern, Switzerland), Robbie Kruse (Bochum, Germany), Mattew Leckie (Hertha Berlin, Germany), Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian, Scotland), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan), Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets)

SHARE
Football fan and digital communications officer following Perth Glory during the 2017/2018 A-League season.