During the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match between the Australian Socceroos and Tajikistan at the Adelaide Oval on March 24, 2016 in Adelaide, Australia.
Giannou and Ikonomidis included in squad
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has announced a 23-man Socceroos squad for the two friendly matches against the Greek national team in early June.
Postecoglou has named 10 changes to the squad which will face England on 28 May, and he has been able to name a number of players unavailable to him for selection for the England game. The Dodoni series against Greece falls in the FIFA window for internationals, freeing up Socceroos playing in China and Japan from their club obligations.
Players coming into the squad include Tim Cahill, Apostolos Giannou, Matthew Leckie and Nathan Burns as well as defenders Trent Sainsbury and Matthew Spiranovic.
The coach says he expects the addition of these players to benefit the squad significantly. “It will be enormously beneficial, and I think also the fact that they’re playing until the final weekend. They’ll all be in good condition and they’ve all been playing regularly which is important.”
In keeping with past practice, the Socceroos boss has also brought in new players for a potential debut for the Socceroos. They include Jason Geria, Alex Gersbach, as well as keeper Mark Birighitti, called in for the injured Mark Langerak. These follow the four new faces named in the squad for the England friendly in Sunderland on 28 May – Mark Degenek, Brad Inman, Jamie McLaren and Stefan Mauk.
In total Postecoglou has named 32 players for the two squads, all in keeping with his plans to develop a deep pool of players. “I’m not going to a World Cup again sweating on guys being fit and not having options if they’re not. We’ve got to go into every camp, every game, knowing that if we’re missing one or two, we’ve got others to call on.
“The two Greece games, one being after the other, I’ll take an opportunity to get a look at most of the guys. It’s important in these friendly games we do that. But we’re putting out teams that we think will be able to play our football and give an opportunity to as many as possible.”