Perth Glory stars rewarded by Socceroos’ call

Chris Ikonomidis of Perth Glory in action. Picture: AAP
Chris Ikonomidis of Perth Glory in action. Picture: AAP

WITH an eye to upcoming World Cup qualifiers, Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has called up a batch of A-League performers and overseas-based hopefuls for next month’s friendly in South Korea.

Perth Glory defender Matthew Spiranovic will join the squad, along with attacker Chris Ikonomidis after a standout A-League campaign.

They join uncapped title-winners Brandon O’Neill and Andrew Redmayne who have been rewarded with places, with Melbourne Victory gloveman Lawrence Thomas also in the mix to win his first Socceroos cap.

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Matthew Spiranovic of the Glory and Adam Le Fondre of Sydney in action during the A-League Grand Final match. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Wainwright

Regular faces like skipper Mark Milligan, Mat Ryan, Aaron Mooy, Mat Leckie and Trent Sainsbury have all been spared the trip after European club campaigns, made more difficult by the mid-season Asian Cup.

In all, there are 11 A-League players among the 23-man squad who face South Korea in Busan on June 7.

Aziz Behich and recalled defender Spiranovic, who hasn’t played for Australia in two years, are the most experienced players with 35 caps.

For the first time in over a decade, two brothers have been named in the same Socceroos squad, with uncapped England-based winger Ryan Williams joining the recalled Rhys Williams.

Germany-based Brandon Borrello and Harry Souttar, at Stoke City, are two others that could win their first caps.

Terry Antonis, after controversially being overlooked for the Asian Cup, will travel, as will Adelaide United’s Craig Goodwin.

South Korea-based Adam Taggart gets another chance, while Ange Postecoglou-era defenders Bailey Wright and Brad Smith have also got a look-in.

Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold has announced his squad for the upcoming friendly international against Korea Republic. Picture: AAP Image/David Gray

Arnold said the match, expected to be the last before Australia’s qualification for the 2022 World Cup begins, was a chance to “expose more players to international football”.

“We have seen how arduous the previous World Cup path was for our squad and it is imperative that we spend this valuable time together to have a close look at some of our next generation.”

SOCCEROOS SQUAD v SOUTH KOREA

Goalkeepers: Mitch Langerak, Andrew Redmayne, Lawrence Thomas

Defenders: Thomas Deng, Rhyan Grant, Matthew Jurman, Brad Smith, Harry Souttar, Matthew Spiranovic, Rhys Williams, Bailey Wright

Midfielders: Mustafa Amini, Terry Antonis, Josh Brillante, Jimmy Jeggo, Brandon O’Neill, Ryan Williams

Attackers: Brandon Borrello, Craig Goodwin, Chris Ikonomidis, Awer Mabil, Dimitri Petratos, Adam Taggart.