World Cup 2014: Tim Cahill included in the preliminary Australia squad

Former Everton midfielder now plays in the US for New York Red Bulls

Mark Bresciano earned a recall from suspension and joins Tim Cahill, Mark Milligan, Josh Kennedy and Luke Wilkshire among the Socceroos in line for a third World Cup in an otherwise youthful preliminary Australia squad.

Coach Ange Postecoglou announced the 30-man squad on Wednesday and will cut it to 23 by June 2. Bailey Wright, a 21-year-old central defender for Preston North End in England's third tier, and Fortuna Duesseldorf winger Ben Halloran were the only uncapped players selected.

Wright surged into contention due to the unavailability of other players and the absence of long-time captain Lucas Neill, who was told by Postecoglou last week that he wouldn't be part of Australia's World Cup plans.

"We've had some injuries and disruptions, particularly in the defense. We have some challenges there, but overall I'm happy with the balance," Postecoglou told a news conference. "Yes there is some inexperience .... (but) we needed to regenerate the team. We needed to make some meaningful change, but at the same time understand that it's a World Cup."

Australia faces defending champion Spain, 2010 runner-up Netherlands and Chile in a tough group in Brazil.

"We face a formidable challenge but it is also a big opportunity and we head to the World Cup with no barriers," said Postecoglou, who took over as national coach late last year after Holger Osieck was fired in the wake of back-to-back 6-0 defeats to Brazil and France.

Bresciano served a four-month ban due to an illegal transfer involving clubs in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar when he joined Al Gharafa from Al Nasr, but Postecoglou said the veteran midfielder had shown enough in his recent matches to warrant selection. He also picked rangy Japan-based forward Kennedy, who scored a crucial goal in Australia's qualifying campaign, for the first time since becoming head coach.

Wright was reportedly among the six players from Preston North End questioned by British police over spot-fixing allegations earlier in the year but has denied any wrong doing.

"He's only a young man beginning his career," Postecoglou said. "But he has had some really strong consistent form at Preston North End in a team that has done well and is on the verge of promotion to the (English) Championship.

"We have had some injury clouds over a couple of our center backs, so he's one that played almost 50 games this year, is in good - It makes sense to bring him in and have a look at him in a national team environment."

The average age of the squad is 23, which was expected when Postecoglou hinted he was already thinking about building a team for the 2018 World Cup. His squad contains 10 players from the domestic A-League.

It's "a great opportunity for some of these younger players to forge their own national team careers," Postecoglou said. "We needed to change the direction of our national team."

Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak, who is vying with Cahill as the likely captain to replace Neill, was selected despite concern over a groin strain.

Australia host South Africa in an international friendly on May 26.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Mark Birighitti, (Newcastle Jets), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Mat Ryan (Club Brugge).

Defenders: Jason Davidson (SC Heracles Almelo), Ivan Franjic (Brisbane Roar), Curtis Good (Newcastle United), Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng), Matthew Spiranovic, (Western Sydney Wanderers), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Luke Wilkshire (Dynamo Moscow), Bailey Wright (Preston North End)

Midfielders: Oliver Bozanic (FC Luzern), Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa), Joshua Brilliante (Newcastle Jets), James Holland (Austria Wien), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town), Matthew McKay (Brisbane Roar), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht), Tommy Rogic (Melbourne Victory), Adam Sarota (FC Utrecht), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory), Dario Vidosic (FC Sion).

Forwards: Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Ben Halloran (Fortuna Duesseldorf), Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus), Matthew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt), Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets)

AP

News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions