Sydney FC's Terry Antonis has today been selected as part of Socceroos Head Coach Ange Postecoglou's 23-player squad for the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015.
Antonis said he was pleased to be selected but knows he has to concentrate on the Sky Blues massive Boxing Day clash against Adelaide United before thoughts drift to the first Socceroos match of the tournament.
"I'm very proud to be selected to represent my country," he said.
"I'm sure it will be a great experience, the selection came as a bit of a shock but i'm determined to do my best.
"The first priority has to be Adelaide United on Boxing Day and i'll be going out there at Allianz Stadium to do my best, show what I can do and hopefully replicate that for the Socceroos in January."
The tournament will be held from 9 to 31 January with the squad containing:
- 7 members of the Socceroos squad that were runners-up at the AFC Asian Cup 2011 Qatar (Burns, Cahill, Jedinak, Kruse, McKay, Oar & Spiranovic)
- 16 members of the Socceroos squad that went to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil (Bresciano, Cahill, Davidson, Franjic, Galekovic, Jedinak, Langerak, Leckie, Luongo, McKay, Milligan, Oar, Ryan, Spiranovic, Troisi & Wilkinson)
- 7 players from the Hyundai A-League (Antonis, Burns, Galekovic, Juric, McKay, Milligan & Spiranovic)
The Socceroos face Kuwait in the opening match of the tournament at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne on Friday 9 January (kick off 8pm AEDT).
Having now finalised his selection, Postecoglou is confident his 23-man squad will deliver a positive outcome at next month's tournament.
“It’s been almost six months in the making since the FIFA World Cup,” Postecoglou said.
“We’ve had a series of games where there have been some pretty clear objectives, particularly in terms of broadening the pool and seeing whether we could get some better balance in the squad and more depth."
“In the end, I’m pretty pleased with the 23 we’ve ended up with, there’s a good combination of the core of the group that went to the FIFA World Cup, there’s some experience there, but also a sprinkling of guys who will enhance the squad we took to the FIFA World Cup.”
The Socceroos will assemble in Melbourne for a pre-tournament training camp from Saturday 27 December.
“We've made sure that from a long way out we were well managed in terms of the individual progress of the players,” Postecoglou said.
“From our perspective, we’re pretty comfortable with this group that they’ll all be available and, more importantly, capable of playing out the whole tournament."
Tickets to all AFC Asian Cup matches, including the three Socceroo group stage games, are available by logging onto www.tickets.afcasiancup.com
Socceroos Squad for AFC Asian Cup 2015 Australia:
Terry ANTONIS Sydney FC, Australia 3 (0)
Aziz BEHICH Bursaspor, Turkey 7 (2)
Mark BRESCIANO Al Gharafa, Qatar 81 (13)
Nathan BURNS Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand 7 (0)
Tim CAHILL New York Red Bulls, USA 76 (36)
Jason DAVIDSON West Bromwich Albion F.C., England 13 (0)
Ivan FRANJIC FK Torpedo Moskva, Russia 12 (0)
Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) Adelaide United, Australia 8 (0)
Chris HERD Aston Villa, England 3 (0)
Mile JEDINAK Crystal Palace FC, England 52 (6)
Tomi JURIC Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia 5 (1)
Robbie KRUSE TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Germany 32 (3)
Mitchell LANGERAK (gk) B.V. Borussia 09 Dortmund, Germany 5 (0)
Mathew LECKIE FC Ingolstadt 04, Germany 16 (1)
Massimo LUONGO Swindon Town FC, England 5 (0)
Matt McKAY Brisbane Roar FC, Australia 50 (1)
Mark MILLIGAN Melbourne Victory FC, Australia 33 (2)
Tommy OAR FC Utrecht, Netherlands 20 (1)
Mat RYAN (gk) Club Brugge KV, Belgium 13 (0)
Trent SAINSBURY P.E.C. Zwolle, Netherlands 4 (0)
Matthew SPIRANOVIC Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia 21 (0)
James TROISI S.V. Zulte Waregem, Belgium 16 (1)
Alex WILKINSON Jeonbuk Hyundai FC, Korea Republic 11 (0)
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