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Socceroos squad: Susnjar, Nabbout among possible debutants for friendlies against Norway and Colombia

12:05 PM WAT 06/03/2018
Andrew Nabbout Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar A-League 16102016
Three first-timers were named in the green-and-gold squad for the two friendlies in March with recalls for four others

Four uncapped players led by Czech-based defender Aleksandar Susnjar have been selected by Socceroos coach Bert Van Marwijk in the 29-man preliminary squad for the two friendlies against Norway and Colombia in March.

The 22-year-old centre-half, who plys his trade for FK Mlada Boleslav, was the surprise pick in the squad among the possible debutants, with Japanese-bound midfielder Andrew Nabbout, Newcastle Jets playmaker Dimi Petratos and Genk goalkeeper Danny Vukovic also selected.

Susnjar caught the eye while playing for the Australian under-23 side at the AFC U23 Championship in January and plays alongside former Melbourne City striker Gol Gol Mebrahtu in the Czech First League.

There was recalls for Feyenoord goalkeeper Brad Jones, Millwall full-back James Meredith, Hibernian striker Jamie Maclaren and Sydney FC midfielder Josh Brillante, with the latter among four A-League-based players including Melbourne Victory's James Troisi, Western Sydney's Josh Risdon and Petratos.

Tim Cahill has been included despite being yet to start a match since his move to Millwall at the end of the January transfer window

Key defender Trent Sainsbury is in the squad despite still being sidelined with a knee injury, while there was no place for prodigious Melbourne City winger Daniel Arzani or Victory centre-half Rhys Williams.

The squad will be pruned to 23 players next week before preparing for matches against Norway (March 23 in Oslo) and Colombia (March 27 in London) in the team's only scheduled games before the World Cup.

Socceroos 29-man preliminary squad

Goalkeepers

Mat Ryan (Brighton and Hove Albion FC, England), Danny Vukovic (KRC Genk, Belgium), Mitch Langerak (Nagoya Grampus, Japan), Brad Jones (Feyenoord, Holland)

Defenders

Aziz Behich (Bursaspor, Turkey), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos, Japan), Alex Gersbach (Lens, France), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Bluewings, Korea), James Meredith (Millwall, England), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney), Trent Sainsbury (Grasshoppers Zurich, Switzerland), Aleksandar Susnjar (FK Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic), Bailey Wright (Bristol City, England)

Midfielders

Josh Brillante (Sydney FC), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa, England), Jackson Irvine (Hull, England), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers, England), Mark Milligan (Al Ahli, Saudi Arabia), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield, England), Tom Rogic (Celtic, Scotland), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory)

Attackers

Tim Cahill (MIllwall, England), Tomi Juric (FC Luzern, Switzerland), Robbie Kruse (Bochum, Germany), Mattew Leckie (Hertha Berlin, Germany), Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian, Scotland), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan), Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets)