Ajdin Hrustic is a step closer to making his Australia debut after being named in the Socceroos’ final 23-man squad for their busy month of June.
The Groningen winger, 20, is also reportedly being courted by Bosnia-Herzegovina – the country of his father’s birth – after his breakthrough Eredivisie season.
But Melbourne-born Hrustic, who made his senior debut for Groningen in April, moved closer to representing Australia after being included for the Confederations Cup, a World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia and friendly with Brazil.
He is one of three uncapped players in the squad, which was trimmed on Wednesday, alongside Sydney FC goalkeeper Danny Vukovic and Pacos de Ferreira defender Dylan McGowan.
The seven cut from the initial 30-man squad were Mark Birighitti, Alex Gersbach, Craig Goodwin, Rhyan Grant, Mustafa Amini, Riley McGree and James Jeggo.
— Caltex Socceroos (@Socceroos) May 30, 2017
“There has been some tough decisions in cutting the squad from 30 down to the final 23 but that’s a good sign of the strength of the squad we have been able to name and the depth we have been able to cultivate over the last three years,” Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou said.
“If you look through the squad we now have a core group of players who have played 30, 40 and more caps and have experienced [the] World Cup, Asian Cup and the tough road of World Cup qualifying.
“There are some players who are unlucky to miss out but if you look at the 23 players we have selected everyone has earned their Socceroos call up whether they are one of the experienced players with World Cup and Asian Cup experience or the three uncapped players.
“June is a big month and we will need to test that depth but initially our focus is solely on the World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia at Adelaide Oval on June 8.”
Forward Jamie Maclaren, fresh off a move to Darmstadt in Germany, was retained in the squad after sharing the A-League Golden Boot in 2016-17.
Australia are third – the play-off spot – in Group B of the final round of World Cup qualifying, while they will face Cameroon, Chile and Germany at the Confederations Cup.
Goalkeepers: Mitchell Langerak, Mathew Ryan, Danny Vukovic.
Defenders: Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Dylan McGowan, Ryan McGowan, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Bailey Wright.
Midfielders: Ajdin Hrustic, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic, James Troisi.
Forwards: Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren.
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