Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has gone with a mix of youth and experience. Picture: Peter Parks
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has gone with a mix of youth and experience. Picture: Peter Parks

Teen bolter picked in Socceroos stunner

SOCCEROOS coach Graham Arnold has rolled the dice in selecting his first Socceroos' squad, naming 19-year-old bolter John Iredale.

The squad includes just one A-League player among the 31 names heading to a week-long training camp next week.

Dimi Petratos is the sole Australian-based name among the group returning to Antalya, Turkey - the site of the Socceroos' pre-World Cup training camp - under new management.

Uncapped players Iredale, Denis Genreau, Ben Garuccio, Kenneth Dougall and Awer Mabil are among those who will get the chance to forge international careers under Arnold.

The national coach has also restored World Cup hard-luck stories Alex Gersbach, Bailey Wright and Mitchell Langerak to the national set-up.

Iredale's call-up from completely out of the blue is the biggest surprise in Arnold's new direction for the Socceroos.

The former Sydney FC junior talent was reportedly on the verge of being promoted to the Sky Blues' senior squad last year under Arnold before Dutch club Heerenveen recruited him to join its under-19 team in August, 2017.

Iredale was eventually promoted to play in the club's reserve team.

He is yet to play a senior game in the Dutch league but did take the field for Sydney FC in their friendly against Arsenal ahead of the 2017-18 A-League season.

The kid on the left of this picture taken two years ago is now in the Socceroos’ squad.
The kid on the left of this picture taken two years ago is now in the Socceroos’ squad.

He has also played in two senior pre-season games for Heerenveen and now trains with the senior team.

It's the first Socceroos squad selected without considering Tim Cahill, after Australia's all-time leading scorer called time on his international career after Russia's World Cup.

The 38-year-old could still take a final bow in gold, with reports he's in the frame for a farewell appearance in Sydney this November.

FFA is poised to announce a friendly with Lebanon at ANZ Stadium on November 20, three days after a more serious hitout with South Korea in Brisbane.

There are no games for the Socceroos next week, when Arnold will put a focus on team bonding, four months out from the Asian Cup.

"Next week's camp in Turkey marks the start of a new phase for the Socceroos," he said.

"While we will have numerous field, tactical, and video sessions during the seven days that we are together in Turkey, we will also spend plenty of time off the pitch discussing our individual and team objectives and identity."

"As an organisation we've made the decision to take this camp close to the bulk of the players involved. This will lighten the travel load on the majority of the group, ensuring that they arrive in camp and back at their clubs as fresh as possible.

"The 31 players we have invited to Antalya will be the first to receive an opportunity to work with us, however we have a long list of players that we are monitoring and we will continue to assess them as we seek to add to the depth of the team".

All but five players have been retained from the squad of 23 that represented Australia in Russia.

Mathew Leckie, Tom Rogic and Andrew Nabbout have been left out due to injury, Cahill has moved on and left-back James Meredith has been overlooked. Fringe players Alex Susnjar, Mustafa Amini and Apostolos Giannou have also been selected.

With a clear focus on developing the next generation of Socceroos players, Arnold has still found room in his squad for Mile Jedinak.

While the Socceroos skipper certainly won't play in another World Cup, his experience could still be vital for next year's Asian Cup.

SOCCEROOS SQUAD FOR TURKEY TRAINING CAMP

Mabil Awer is in line to make his Socceroos debut.
Mabil Awer is in line to make his Socceroos debut.

Goalkeepers: Brad Jones, Mitchell Langerak, Mat Ryan, Danny Vukovic.

Defenders: Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Ben Garuccio, Alex Gersbach, Matthew Jurman, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury, Alex Susnjar, Bailey Wright.

Midfielders: Kenneth Dougall, Denis Genreau, Ajdin Hrustic, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy.

Attackers: Mustafa Amini, Daniel Arzani, Mitchell Duke, Apostolos Giannou, John Iredale, Tom Juric, Robbie Kruse, Awer Mabil, Jamie Maclaren, Dimi Petratos.

- Fox Sports, News Corp and AAP



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