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.


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)


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments