The Socceroos national coach, Bert van Marwijk announced the 32-man preliminary squad for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup this morning in Sydney.
Relatively unknown youngster, Daniel Arzani was selected in the provisional squad after a successful season with Melbourne City earned him the A-League young player of the year award.
Arzani, 19, displayed his potential with several stirring performances in the second half of the A-League season.
38-year-old striker, Tim Cahill was named and keeps his dream of playing in four consecutive World Cups alive, but is yet to solidify his spot in the squad.
Speaking on Cahill’s inclusion in the preliminary squad, van Marwijk highlighted the importance of Australia’s leading goal-scorer.
“[He is] special in everything, one of best Australian players ever, [and] a very good striker,” van Marwijk told reporters.
“He can make a difference, he is a player who will not be nervous to play in front of 80,000 people.”
Van Marwijk included a shock selection, with Croatian-born Fran Karacic added to the squad to potentially fill the right-back position.
21-year-old Karacic is yet to play in Australia but his father is Australian.
Six of the 32 players selected will have a nervous week ahead, as they wait for van Marwijk to trim the squad list down to 26, which will then head to Turkey for a pre-tournament training camp.
From there, a final three players will be cut before the FIFA World Cup in Russia kicks-off with Australia’s first game against France on 16 June.
Socceroos preliminary World Cup squad:
Goalkeepers: Brad Jones, Mitch Langerak, Mat Ryan, Danny Vukovic
Defenders: Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Alex Gersbach, Matthew Jurman , Fran Karacic, James Meredith, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury, Aleksandar Susnjar, Bailey Wright
Midfielders: Josh Brillante, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Robbie Kruse, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic, James Troisi
Forwards: Daniel Arzani, Tim Cahill, Apostolos Giannou, Tomi Juric, Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren, Andrew Nabbout, Dimitri Petratos, Nikita Rukavytsya.