Tim Cahill will return to international duty after the Socceroos veteran was included in Australia’s full-strength squad that will travel to Kyrgyzstan in June.
Cahill missed friendlies against Germany and FYR Macedonia in March but the 35-year-old forward makes his way back into Ange Postecoglou’s side for Australia’s first 2018 World Cup Group B qualifier against Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek on June 16.
Matthew Spiranovic and Eugene Galekovic also return at the expense of Luke Devere and Adam Federici, while captain Mile Jedinak and Mathew Leckie headline Monday’s squad as the Socceroos begin their bid to qualify for the showpiece in Russia.
Aaron Mooy was a notable omission.
“This is the start of the next chapter in our journey and we are all excited about what lies ahead over the next two years,” Postecoglou said. “We’ve been open in our desire to make an impact at the 2018 World Cup but first we need to qualify and that task is immediately in front of us.
“We’ve selected a relatively settled squad made up of the core of players that brought success at the Asian Cup but also the core of players that will take us through to the next World Cup.
“Before we travel to Bishkek for the match against Kyrgyzstan we have a week long camp in Dubai and it is a good opportunity to work hard with the core group of players who have been exposed to international football and the style of football we want to play.
“We’ll work on building a strong base and then over the next two years we can expose more players to the squad as form and fitness warrants selection but those players will come into a settled unit when they get an opportunity.”
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Mat Ryan (Club Brugge)
Defenders: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Jason Davidson (West Brom), Tarek Elrich (Adelaide United), Ivan Franjic (Unattached), Trent Sainsbury (PEC Zwolle), Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Motors), Bailey Wright (Preston North End)
Midfielders: Oliver Bozanic (FC Luzern), Chris Ikonomidis (Lazio), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht)
Forwards: Nathan Burns (Wellington Phoenix), Tim Cahill (Shanghai Greenland Shenhua), Tomi Juric (Unattached), Mathew Leckie (FC Ingolstadt), James Troisi (Zulte Waregem)
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