Van Marwijk names preliminary squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup

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Caltex Socceroos Head Coach Bert van Marwijk today named 32 players as part of his preliminary squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ which will commence in Russia next month.

All 26 players who took part in van Marwijk’s first Caltex Socceroos camp in March this year – which included friendlies against Norway in Oslo and Colombia in London – have been included in the preliminary list of players, while six new players are also in contention for selection.

Van Marwijk and his coaching staff will reduce the preliminary squad to 26 players next week before the team assembles in Turkey for the start of their pre-tournament training camp from Saturday, 19 May.

After an intensive period of training, the Caltex Socceroos will play the Czech Republic in St. Polten, Austria on Friday, 1 June (local time) in what will be one of the final opportunities for the players to press their claim to be included in the final squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™.

The final list of 23-players is scheduled to be announced in Turkey on Sunday, 3 June, and the team will continue their build-up for the tournament with a further friendly against Hungary in Budapest on Saturday, 9 June (local time).

Van Marwijk said the players that featured in his first camp deserved to retain their places, however admitted additional players have piqued his interest since Australia drew 0-0 with Colombia at Craven Cottage in London.

“I am not a person who changes all the time and we thought for a long time about the first squad that we selected,” said van Marwijk. “I had a good experience with the 26 players in the ten days that I worked with them, so I had no reason not to nominate them again. But we have since seen other players so there will be a few new names in the squad.”

Since the conclusion of the Caltex Socceroos’ March camp, van Marwijk, his coaching staff and scouts have travelled to many locations across Europe, Asia and Australia to monitor the performance of potential players.

This includes the six players that have been added to his last squad – Daniel Arzani, Alex Gersbach, Apostolos Giannou, Fran Karacic, Mitchell Langerak, and Jamie Maclaren – who have been monitored closely whilst playing for their respective clubs in domestic leagues.

“We have travelled extensively and watched many, many matches because we want to get as much information on as many players as possible,” van Marwijk explained.

“I am looking forward to the time in Turkey because there I will be able to work with the players every day, and most of the time it will be two times a day. In those few weeks it must be very clear for the players what we want (at the 2018 FIFA World Cup™),” concluded van Marwijk.

Name Club, Country A-International Caps (Goals)
Daniel ARZANI Melbourne City FC, AUSTRALIA 0 (0)
Aziz BEHICH Bursaspor, TURKEY 21 (2)
Tim CAHILL Millwall FC, ENGLAND 105 (50)
Milos DEGENEK Yokohama F. Marinos, JAPAN 17 (0)
Alex GERSBACH Racing Club de Lens, FRANCE 4 (0)
Apostolos GIANNOU AEK Larnaca, CYPRUS 5 (0)
Jackson IRVINE Hull City AFC, ENGLAND 17 (2)
Mile JEDINAK Aston Villa FC, ENGLAND 75 (18)
Brad JONES (Gk) Feyenoord Rotterdam, NETHERLANDS 5 (0)
Tomi JURIC FC Luzern, SWITZERLAND 34 (8)
Matthew JURMAN Suwon Samsung Bluewings, KOREA REPUBLIC 4 (0)
Fran KARACIC NK Lokomotiva, CROATIA 0 (0)
Robbie KRUSE VfL Bochum, GERMANY 62 (5)
Mitchell LANGERAK (Gk) Nagoya Grampus, JAPAN 8 (0)
Mathew LECKIE Hertha BSC, GERMANY 51 (6)
Massimo LUONGO Queens Park Rangers FC, ENGLAND 34 (5)
Jamie MACLAREN Hibernian FC, SCOTLAND 5 (0)
James MEREDITH Millwall FC, ENGLAND 2 (0)
Aaron MOOY Huddersfield Town AFC, ENGLAND 32 (5)
Andrew NABBOUT Urawa Red Diamonds, JAPAN 2 (0)
Dimitri PETRATOS Newcastle Jets, AUSTRALIA 1 (0)
Josh RISDON Western Sydney Wanderers FC, AUSTRALIA 6 (0)
Tom ROGIC Celtic FC, SCOTLAND 35 (7)
Nikita RUKAVYTSYA Maccabi Haifa FC, ISRAEL 18 (1)
Mathew RYAN (Gk) Brighton & Hove Albion FC, ENGLAND 42 (0)
Trent SAINSBURY Grasshopper Club Zurich, SWITZERLAND 33 (3)
Aleksandar SUSNJAR FK Mlada Boleslav, CZECH REPUBLIC 1 (0)
James TROISI Melbourne Victory, AUSTRALIA 37 (5)
Daniel VUKOVIC (Gk) KRC Genk, BELGIUM 1 (0)
Bailey WRIGHT Bristol City FC, ENGLAND 22 (1)

Caltex Socceroos pre-2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Friendlies:

Caltex Socceroos v Czech Republic
Date: Friday, 1 June 2018 (local time)
Venue: NV Arena, St. Polten, Austria
Kick-off: TBC
Broadcast: Live in Australia on FOX SPORTS and Network Ten

Hungary v Caltex Socceroos
Date: Saturday, 9 June 2018 (local time)
Venue: Groupama Arena, Budapest, Hungary
Kick-off: 5.30pm local (1.30am AEST – Sunday, 10 June 2018)
Broadcast: Live in Australia on FOX SPORTS and Network Ten

Caltex Socceroos 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Group C Matches:

France v Caltex Socceroos
Saturday, 16 June 2018
Venue: Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia
Kick-off: 1pm local (8pm AEST – Saturday, 16 June 2018)
Broadcast: Live in Australia on SBS and Optus Sport

Denmark v Caltex Socceroos
 Thursday, 21 June 2018
Venue: Samara Arena, Samara, Russia
Kick-off: 4pm local (10pm AEST – Thursday, 21 June 2018)
Broadcast: Live in Australia on SBS and Optus Sport

Caltex Socceroos v Peru
 Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Venue: Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia
Kick-off: 5pm local (12pm AEST – Wednesday 27 June 2018)
Broadcast: Live in Australia on SBS and Optus Sport


Source : Socceroos Official Website

The key dates as Caltex Socceroos look to Russia

The first step is out of the way – Bert van Marwijk has confirmed his 32-man provisional Caltex Socceroos squad as our boys now look ahead to the FIFA World Cup.

With just 38 days to go until football’s showpiece event gets underway, there is so much on the horizon for Aussie football fans to enjoy, as we gear up to face France in game one on Saturday 16 June AEST.

A 26-man squad, whittled down by Van Marwijk next week, will assemble in Turkey on 19 May before two final preparation games.

Here are all the key dates for you to put in your calendar before our boys take on the world…

When do the Caltex Socceroos go into camp?

Bert van Marwijk and his team will assemble in the Turkish coastal city of Antalya on Saturday 19 May to begin a 20-day pre-FIFA World Cup training camp.

When does the final FIFA World Cup squad get announced?

Van Marwijk will confirm a 26-man squad to travel to Turkey next week before reducing this further to the final 23-man squad on Sunday 3 June.

This means the make-up of the Caltex Socceroos will be confirmed before they face Hungary in the second of two lead-up friendlies.

Who are the lead-up games against?

On Saturday 2 June, the Caltex Socceroos will take on the Czech Republic in Vienna, Austria (kick-off time TBC).

The team will then face Hungary in Budapest on Sunday 10 June, 1.30am AEST.Bert van Marwijk

When do they head to Russia?

After the Hungary game, Van Marwijk’s men will arrive in Kazan for a six-day training block before the opening game against France – which is to be played in Kazan.

Who do we play at the FIFA World Cup?

  1. France v Caltex Socceroos
    Saturday, 16 June 2018
    Venue: Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia
    Kick-off: 1pm local (8pm AEST – Saturday, 16 June 2018)
    Broadcast: Live in Australia on SBS and Optus Sport
  2. Denmark v Caltex Socceroos
     Thursday, 21 June 2018
    Venue: Samara Arena, Samara, Russia
    Kick-off: 4pm local (10pm AEST – Thursday, 21 June 2018)
    Broadcast: Live in Australia on SBS and Optus Sport
  3. Caltex Socceroos v Peru
     Tuesday, 26 June 2018
    Venue: Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia
    Kick-off: 5pm local (12pm AEST – Wednesday 27 June 2018)
    Broadcast: Live in Australia on SBS and Optus Sport


Source : Socceroos Website

The club moves that could seal FIFA World Cup spots for four Caltex Socceroos

Mitch Langerak

Mid-season club moves have helped four players earn Caltex Socceroos re-calls in Bert van Marwijk’s preliminary 32-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

After missing van Marwijk’s initial squad for the March friendlies against Norway and Colombia, Jamie Maclaren, Apostolos Giannou, Mitch Langerak and Alex Gersbach have all earned call-ups to the squad in contention to go to Russia.

The four returning stars – along with uncapped Daniel Arzani and Fran Karacic – join the 26 players involved in the March squad that will hope to make the final 23-man squad.

Interestingly, Maclaren, Giannou, Langerak and Gersbach all made a switch of clubs in January to give themselves a chance to get to the FIFA World Cup.

Maclaren has thrived since his loan move from Darmstadt in Germany’s second tier to Scottish Premiership club Hibernian, scoring five times in 13 appearances.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the selection of striker Giannou, who last played for the Caltex Socceroos back in late 2016.

Apostolos Giannou

The 28-year-old left Chinese outfit Guangzhou R&F and moved to AEK Larnaca in Cyprus, where he has scored four times in 14 appearances in league and cup.

Maclaren and Giannou are two of nine attackers named in the squad, with van Marwijk admitting he needs to keep all his options open.

“We went to Scotland to see Maclaren and we went to Cyprus to see Giannou. I want to get as much information as I can get,” van Marwijk said.

“At the moment [Tomi] Juric is injured, I hope it’s not serious but he hasn’t played for the last two weeks.

“Everybody knows the special case of Tim Cahill and now he’s unfortunately suspended for three games.

“Maclaren is a possibility as a centre-forward. With Giannou, we were there and he only played the last 20, 25 minutes also because he was injured.

“Andrew Nabbout I think he can also play as a centre-forward. He can play more positions up front but also there.

“But I cannot choose six strikers (for the 23) but I need two or three.”

At the other end of the pitch, Langerak is back as one of four keepers in the squad alongside Mat Ryan, Brad Jones and Danny Vukovic.

Mitch Langerak

The 29-year-old gloveman has been excellent for Japanese outfit Nagoya Grampus since leaving Levante, playing 13 times since the J-League started in March.

And Gersbach is back in contention for a left-back spot following after his successful loan move from Rosenborg in Norway to French Ligue 2 side Lens.

The 20-year-old has become a consistent member of the starting XI in Lens, featuring in 11 matches for the club.

Gersbach is one of three left-back’s in the squad, along with Turkey-based Aziz Behich and Millwall’s James Meredith.

The 32-man Caltex Socceroos squad will next week be trimmed to 26 before van Marwijk and his staff meet up with players in Turkey for a 20-day training camp.


Source : Socceroos Official Website

Caltex Socceroos to learn 2019 AFC Asian Cup group opponents

The Caltex Socceroos will find out who is in their group for next year’s AFC Asian Cup title defence, when the draw for the 2019 tournament is held in the early hours of Saturday morning (AEST).

In a first for the AFC Asian Cup, 24 nations will be involved for the tournament in the UAE, with the six groups to be determined from 1.30am on Saturday (AEST).

As defending champions and one of the highest-ranked nations in the AFC, Bert van Marwijk’s side are in Pot 1 alongside hosts UAE, Iran, Japan, Korea Republic and Saudi Arabia.

One team from each of the pots will be drawn into six groups of four, with 16 countries to then advance to the knockout stages.

That will include the top two from each group which makes the round of 16 automatically, while the four best third-placed nations from the six groups will qualify.

This will be the second time the UAE has hosted the tournament, losing the final to Saudi Arabia on the last occasion in 1996.


Asian Cup pots


Source :  My Football


Rukavytsya ready to relive ‘unbelievable’ World Cup experience

Caltex Socceroos striker Nikita Rukavytsya is hoping history repeats itself as he zeroes in on an unexpected FIFA World Cup berth.

The 30-year-old flyer was a surprise recall for last year’s do-or-die play-offs against Syria and Honduras having spent the previous four years in the international wilderness.

But a purple patch of form for Israeli club Maccabi Haifa – for whom he has netted nine league goals this season – has the ex-Western Sydney Wanderers man right in the frame for a ticket to Russia.

Should he win a place in the 23-man squad, it would make for remarkably similar circumstances to those which saw him appear as a fresh-faced 22-year-old at South Africa 2010.Rukavytsya

The Perth Glory product fired his way into calculations with a timely goal glut at Belgian outfit Roeselare, where he was on loan from FC Twente.

“It was a dream come true. It’s not something you can really explain until you experience it,” Rukavytsya told of the experience.

“I was pretty young back then. To be a part of it and to play at a World Cup is unbelievable.

“Hopefully I can push on and it can be my second one.”

Tim Cahill, Mile Jedinak and Mark Milligan were also present in 2010 and remain among the 26 players currently in Oslo for Bert van Marwijk’s first training camp.

Rukavytsya debuted for Australia in 2009.

Having previously rubbed shoulders with the likes of Harry Kewell and Mark Bresciano, Rukavytsya views the current crop of hopefuls as capable of doing some damage.

“Now it’s a new generation,” he said.

“The boys are playing in some good leagues and at some good clubs. I’m sure we have a good team and we can really compete.”

And as for his message to players who may be looking to write a similar selection script to the speedster?

“You just have to keep working and doing your best,” he said.

“In the back of your mind the World Cup should push you to do better. Just do your best and enjoy the experience leading up to it.”


Source : Socceroos Website

Leckie pleased with ‘modern’ Van Marwijk’s Caltex Socceroos plans

Key winger Mathew Leckie has embraced the encouraging early evidence of new coach Bert van Marwijk’s plans for the Caltex Socceroos.

In his first camp in charge, Van Marwijk has laid the foundations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup campaign by urging the use of quick, crisp passing.

The Dutchman’s approach has made a positive impression on Leckie, who is in line to win his 50th cap when Australia meet Norway at the Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo on Saturday morning (AEDT).

“His history shows he’s a great coach,” Leckie told reporters.

“He’s been here and he knows how it is. Just the couple of meetings we’ve had have been really convincing.

“He wants to move the ball quickly and play fast. We’ll look more over that in the next few days but I think he really wants to play the modern way.

“The more we do, the better we’ll get at it. He hasn’t really cemented the formation we’ll play but we trained the 4-2-3-1 yesterday.”

Bert van Marwijk
Van Marwijk coached Netherlands to the 2010 FIFA World Cup final.


Leckie will notch up a half-century of international appearances if he features against either Norway or Colombia in London next week.

The 27-year-old, who debuted for Australia in 2012, already boasts a catalogue of fond memories, including a breakout role at the last FIFA World Cup and subsequent success at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

“It’s a huge accomplishment for me,” the Hertha Berlin man said.

“It’s all happened pretty quick. I’ve only been part of the national team for four years but I’ve been able to stay healthy and play the majority of games.

“I’ve had a lot of success with the Asian Cup and big moments in qualifying.

“It’s been an incredible journey and hopefully many more to come.”


Source : Socceroos Website