Friday, 22 June, 2018


Van Marwijk cuts another six from Australia's World Cup squad

Van Marwijk cuts another six from Australia's World Cup squad Van Marwijk cuts another six from Australia's World Cup squad
Noah Ferguson | 17 May, 2018, 13:56

Australian Football Coach, Bert Van Marwijk's World Cup squad is starting to take shape with the Dutchman stamping his authority on the side in the latest round of cuts.

The Socceroos final 23-man World Cup squad will be named on June 3 after Australia's first friendly against Czech Republic two days prior.

Veterans Tim Cahill and Mark Milligan remain in the squad and are still on track for their fourth World Cup finals, while five current A-League players including 19-year-old Daniel Arzani are still in the running for Russian Federation. Van Marwijk has declined to guarantee him a spot in his final 23 for Russian Federation but a promotional campaign pushed by the Socceroos' naming rights sponsor, Caltex Australia, suggested it was a done deal.

He has hit form at Hibs, scoring eight goals in 15 games including a hat-trick on the weekend in a 5-5 draw with Rangers, but it was not enough to keep him in the squad.

"It is always a challenging task to reduce a squad", van Marwijk, who had unveiled a 32-player squad last week, said in a statement.

FFA chief David Gallop denied there was any commercial rationale behind Cahill seemingly certain to play a fourth World Cup.

"I say 'have a look at Tim Cahill's track record, '" Gallop said.

Cahill is now in the USA and will join the rest of the squad in Turkey next week for an intense training camp including two warm-up friendlies against the Czech Republic and Hungary.

The inclusion of the 38-year-old Cahill in the squad combined with the absence of Maclaren had some critics on social media implying that marketing opportunities could be influencing selections. Melbourne City's teenage attacking midfielder Daniel Arzani and Croatia-based defender Fran Karacic, the surprise pair in Van Marwijk's initial squad, were retained in the 26.

In Russia, they are drawn in Group C along with France, Peru and Denmark.

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