Graham Arnold ‘makes SHOCK call over highly rated goalkeeper’ in Socceroos selection bombshell as Garang Kuol looks set to make World Cup squad – but one young star has turned his back on Australia
Graham Arnold has made a selection bombshell ahead of the World Cup, leaving decorated goalkeeper Mitch Langerak out of his 26-man Socceroos squad.
Langerak, 34, recently backflipped on his international retirement, and was expected to challenge Mat Ryan to be Australia’s starting shot-stopper in Qatar.
Ahead of the squad being officially named at 4pm on Tuesday, it is believed A-League veterans Andrew Redmayne and Danny Vukovic will instead be Ryan’s understudies.
Both Redmayne and Vukovic have worked closely over many years with John Crawley, the Socceroos’ goalkeeping coach.
Redmayne was considered a lock following his heroics in the penalty shoot-out win versus Peru in June – but Vukovic, 37, is somewhat of a surprise.
Langerak has every reason to feel aggrieved – he was named player of the season at Japanese club side Nagoya Grampus and last year broke his own J1 League record for clean sheets.
Graham Arnold has made a selection bombshell ahead of the World Cup, leaving decorated goalkeeper Mitch Langerak out of his 26-man Socceroos squad for Qatar
A-League veteran Danny Vukovic, 37, has reportedly got the nod over the unlucky Langerak
Andrew Redmayne was the unexpected hero for the Socceroos in their epic World Cup qualifying win over Peru in June via a penalty shootout – and will be on the plane to Qatar
The one-time Borussia Dortmund gloveman was picked for September’s two friendlies against New Zealand in Brisbane and Auckland – but bizarrely warmed the bench.
One player assured of being named by Arnold is Mat Leckie.
‘It’s an amazing feeling,’ Leckie said of his pending selection.
‘But at the same time, we know how tough the games are that are going to be played.’
Leckie, 31, will feature at his third World Cup, said emotions when selected for Australia were difficult to describe.
‘We all work so hard,’ the Melbourne City midfielder said.
‘The biggest key is like when you go to the national team, it’s not easy to stay in the national team for a long period of time.
Arnold will officially name his 26-man squad at 4pm on Tuesday ahead of the World Cup
‘For the players that do that, the majority of them are obviously people with very good mentality.
‘And they have got that different mindset in the sense that they give everything every game and they know how important it is, because once you’re out, it’s hard to come back.’
Ryan is also poised to attend his third World Cup – and will be Australia’s captain.
Strikers Jamie Maclaren and Mitch Duke will be named, with X-factor youngster Garang Kuol and Scottish born Jason Cummings firming by the minute.
Garank Kuol made his debut for the Socceroos in September in a friendly against New Zealand and is tipped to be on the plane to Qatar
It is understood Central Coast Mariners striker Kuol – who is yet to start a professional match in his career – has done enough to impress Arnold, with Adam Taggart an unlucky omission.
In other selection news, teenage young gun Cristian Volpato has turned his back on the Socceroos – and will pledge his allegiance to Italy.
Midfielder Tom Rogic is expected to feature – despite limited game time for struggling West Bromwich Albion in the Championship in recent weeks.
The Socceroos take on France in their Group D opening match on November 23 (AEDT) before further matches against Tunisia (November 26, 9pm) and Denmark (December 1, 2am).