Rookies named as Socceroos coach swings axe

FOOTBALL: Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has foreshadowed a new era for the national team by culling several experienced players from the squad to take on Ecuador in a friendly in London next Thursday.

Among the high-profile names to miss out were captain Lucas Neill, Harry Kewell, Brett Holman and Mark Bresciano.

The four new faces picked were Curtis Good (Dundee United), Ben Halloran (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Chris Herd (Aston Villa) and Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town).

Neill's signing at English Championship club Watford this week did not come in time for the 35-year-old defender, with Postecoglou sticking by his mantra that his troops must be consistently playing, and playing well.

"The majority of the squad that goes away for this World Cup must have the capability to back up for the next one," the Australian coach said, making it clear he is thinking about the future.

"That limits the spots we give to players who, potentially, this could be their last World Cup.

"I've got to make some hard decisions on some of our more experienced players but that's the position we're in."

Postecoglou said the reasoning behind his clean-out of the Socceroos' squad was simple.

"It makes sense to me to start looking at building a new core and squad that can emulate our teams of the past," he said.

"I think the time has come for us to look to this World Cup and the next World Cup, and try and build a new golden generation of footballers."

Socceroos squad

Squad to play Ecuador in London next Thursday: Oliver Bozanic, Tim Cahill, Jason Davidson, Ivan Franjic, Curtis Good, Ben Halloran, Chris Herd, James Holland, Mile Jedinak, Brad Jones, Mitchell Langerak, Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Ryan McGowan, Matt McKay, Mark Milligan, Tommy Oar, Tom Rogic, Matt Ryan, Adam Sarota, Matthew Spiranovic, Dario Vidosic, Luke Wilkshire.

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