Australia call on youngsters for provisional World Cup squad

Uncapped players Bailey Wright and Ben Halloran have joined experienced stars Tim Cahill and Mile Jedinak in Ange Postecoglou's initial selection for the Brazil showpiece
Bailey Wright was the most surprising inclusion in Ange Postecoglou's provisional 30-man Australia squad for the World Cup, named on Wednesday.

Wright was just one of a number of inexperienced youngsters selected in the provisional squad, with the uncapped defender having played 44 games in England's League One for Preston North End this season.

The 21-year-old was joined in the squad by fellow centre-back Curtis Good, despite the Newcastle United man's playing time on loan at Dundee United being severely restricted by injury in recent months.

Uncapped forward Ben Halloran, who had to pull out of the friendly squad to face Ecuador in March, has received another call-up following his impressive form for Fortuna Dusseldorf in the 2. Bundesliga this season.

Newcastle Jets trio of goalkeeper Mark Birighitti, utility Josh Brillante and striker Adam Taggart have all been selected, although arguably only the latter, the 2013-14 A-League golden boot winner, is likely to survive the final cut to 23 players.

While Tim Cahill was surely assured of a place in the squad, he is joined by fellow veterans in striker Josh Kennedy, full-back Luke Wilkshire and midfielder Mark Bresciano, who had been banned from playing at Al Gharafa for four months this season due to an illegal transfer from his previous club.

Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak is expected to captain the Socceroos in Brazil if he recovers from a groin injury suffered on the final day of the Premier League season.

"The squad has been selected with form and fitness as key indicators as well as having one eye on the future," Postecoglou said in a statement.

"We face a formidable challenge in Brazil but it is also a big opportunity and we head to the World Cup with no barriers as we look to write a new chapter in our rich football history."

Australia will begin their pre-tournament training camp in Gosford this week ahead of their farewell friendly against South Africa in Sydney on May 26.

Australia have been placed in Group B in Brazil, along with Spain, the Netherlands and Chile.

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Mark Birighitti (Newcastle Jets), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Mitch Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Mat Ryan (Club Brugge)

Defenders: Jason Davidson (Heracles), Ivan Franjic (Brisbane Roar), Curtis Good (Newcastle United), Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng), Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Motors), Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow), Bailey Wright (Preston North End).

Midfielders: Oliver Bozanic (Luzern), Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa), Josh Brillante (Newcastle Jets), James Holland (Austria Vienna), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Adam Sarota (Utrecht), Dario Vidosic (FC Sion)

Forwards: Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Ben Halloran (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus), Mathew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt), Tommy Oar (Utrecht), Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets), James Troisi (Atalanta)