Postecoglou expected to name young squad

FOOTBALL: It seems an eternity since the Socceroos qualified for the World Cup by beating Iraq last June.

You will only have to look at today's extended squad announcement for confirmation on the widespread changing of the guard since that memorable night.

Mark Schwarzer and Brett Holman have since announced their international retirements.

And captain Lucas Neill, Archie Thompson and Sasa Ognenovski have been left out by new coach Ange Postecoglou, who is keen to regenerate the squad.

Replacements are also required for the injured duo of Robbie Kruse and Rhys Williams.

Other experienced stars Luke Wilkshire, Josh Kennedy and Mark Bresciano should make today's extended squad, but whether they make the final 23-man cut could be a close call.

A week-long training camp in Gosford, starting Friday, will lead to a further overhaul of the squad, as Postecoglou will swing the axe on seven more players.

Goalkeeper Mat Ryan is the heir apparent to Schwarzer, as his form at Club Brugge has been outstanding.

Youngsters Trent Sainsbury and Curtis Good are set to be picked in defence.

Overseas pair Oliver Bozanic and Adam Sarota will be other inexperienced players Postecoglou is likely to pick in the midfield.

And Ben Halloran's rise at Fortuna Dusseldorf should make the ex-Roar player the ideal choice to replace Kruse as an attacking right midfielder.


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