Socceroos coach Graham Arnold is poised to give a number of new players a chance to impress ahead of the World Cup after naming an eye-catching 31-man squad to tackle New Zealand later this month.
Australia will play the All Whites in two friendlies on September 22 and 25 in games that serve as both a centenary celebration and farewell for the Socceroos ahead of the World Cup in November.
The Socceroos secured their spot in Qatar via the playoffs, while New Zealand fell just short via the same route.
With the tournament now just over two months away, Arnold has opened the door for a number of fresh faces to stake their claim for a Socceroos jersey.
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Australia’s squad to face New Zealand includes new names like 17-year-old forward Garang Kuol, striker Jason Cummings, midfielder Keanu Baccus and defender Harrison Delbridge among others.
“This camp is the last opportunity we will have to work with the squad ahead of November’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 tournament, and all players are competing for a spot in the final squad which will be announced in early November,” Arnold said.
“With two games in four days, this camp provides us with a unique opportunity to bring in some new players who can push for selection ahead of the FIFA World Cup.
“I’m excited to see a number of young Australian’s gaining great experience across Europe and throughout Asia, and it is important we bring them into the national team environment to build on our depth and assess their capabilities at this level.
“We have been closely monitoring our players since qualifying for the FIFA World Cup and are regularly speaking with them about this opportunity. I can’t wait to get back into camp to work with our experienced group of players and the next generation of emerging stars.”
⚽🇦🇺 Cummings and Kuol 🇦🇺⚽
— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) September 14, 2022
Goalkeeper Mitch Langerak has also returned to the side after deciding to come out of international retirement.
“I am humbled and honoured to be given the opportunity to represent the Socceroos again. It’s been a difficult few years for all of us,” Langerak said.
“When I had made the decision to retire, we were in the middle of strict lockdowns in Japan and at the time, I was facing the prospect of spending months away from my wife and young children, so I had to make the hard call to step away from international football for my family.
“I am grateful for another opportunity, it was tough watching the team from afar and I was so happy for everyone when we qualified for the FIFA World Cup and I can’t wait to re-join my teammates in Brisbane.”
The Socceroos’ first friendly against New Zealand will be played at Suncorp Stadium on September 22 with former coach Guus Hiddink also set to return to the sidelines for Australia.
Arnold has confirmed he will name different starting sides for each friendly as most of the squad gets a chance to play some minutes.
Centre-back duo Harry Souttar and Kye Rowles are both missing from the squad due to injury but are expected to be fit in time for the World Cup.
Socceroos squad for New Zealand friendlies
|Mitch Langerak||Nagoya Grampus||Andrew Redmayne||Sydney FC|
|Maty Ryan||FC Copenhagen||Nathaniel Atkinson||Hearts|
|Aziz Behich||Dundee United||Harrison Delbridge||Incheon United|
|Milos Degenek||Columbus Crew||Thomas Deng||Albirex Niigata|
|Fran Karacic||Brescia||Trent Sainsbury||Al-Wakrah|
|Ryan Strain||St Mirren||Bailey Wright||Sunderland|
|Joel King||Odense||Keanu Baccus||St Mirren|
|Cameron Devlin||Hearts||Tyrese Francois||HNK Gorica|
|Denis Genreau||Toulouse||Ajdin Hrustic||Hellas Verona|
|Jackson Irvine||St. Pauli||Riley McGree||Middlesbrough|
|Connor Metcalfe||St. Pauli||Aaron Mooy||Celtic|
|Jason Cummings||Central Coast Mariners||Martin Boyle||Hibernian|
|Garang Kuol||Central Coast Mariners||Mathew Leckie||Melbourne City|
|Awer Mabil||Cadiz CF||Adam Taggart||Cerezo Osaka|
|Marco Tilio||Melbourne City||Mitchell Duke||Fagiano Okayama|
|Jamie Maclaren||Melbourne City|
New Zealand squad for Australia friendlies
|Chris Wood||Newcastle United||Winston Reid||Unattached|
|Kyle Adams||San Diego Loyal||Joe Bell||Brondby|
|Michael Boxall||Minnesota United||Liberato Cacace||Empoli|
|Andre De Jong||Royal AM||Matt Garbett||Torino|
|Alex Greive||St Mirren||Cam Howieson||Auckland City|
|Dane Ingham||Newcastle Jets||Elijah Just||AC Horsens|
|Callum McCowatt||FC Helsingor||Ben Old||Wellington Phoenix|
|Alex Paulsen||Wellington Phoenix||Tim Payne||Wellington Phoenix|
|Oli Sail||Wellington Phoenix||Ben Waine||Wellington Phoenix|
|Nando Pijnaker||Sligo Rovers||Storm Roux||Central Coast Mariners|
|Marko Stamenic||FC Copenhagen||Bill Tuiloma||Portland Timbers|
|Michael Woud||Kyoto Sanga||Deklan Wynne||Detroit City|
Australia vs. New Zealand recent head-to-head results
|July 5, 2011||Australia 3-0 New Zealand||Friendly|
|May 24, 2010||Australia 2-1 New Zealand||Friendly|
|June 9, 2005||Australia 1-1 New Zealand||Friendly|
|May 29, 2004||Australia 1-0 New Zealand||World Cup qualifier|
|July 14, 2002||New Zealand 1-0 Australia||Oceania Nations Cup|