Sydney FC young gun Bernie Ibini has earned his first ever call up to the Socceroos squad after Head Coach Ange Postecoglou named him in a 23-man team to play fellow 2015 AFC Asian Cup nations United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar in October.
The Socceroos face the UAE in Abu Dhabi on Friday 10 October and then play Qatar in Doha on Tuesday 14 October as Postecoglou continues to give players an opportunity at international level to create more depth ahead of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
Ibini said he was looking forward to the experience of being involved with the national team as he looks forward to learning off the likes of Tim Cahill ahead of the upcoming Hyundai A-League season.
“I’m definitely very excited,” Ibini said.
“This will be the first time I’ve been involved with the Socceroos so I’m really looking forward to it.
“I want to come away with a lot of experience from these two games that will hopefully that make me a better player.
“Just to be involved with the Socceroos is great and fingers cross that I can get on the field,” he continued.
“I’ve played with Matt Ryan before so it will be good to have someone I know very well in the team and I’m definitely looking forward to learning off Tim Cahill.
“He’s a Socceroos hero so to be able to train and play with him is something I’m looking forward to.”
Head Coach Ange Postecoglou said he would use these two upcoming matches to sound out all the players at his disposal ahead of the AFC Asian Cup in 2015.
“We are still giving players we’ve identified for the National team an opportunity to experience international football to ensure we create a deeper pool of players to call on for the Asian Cup and beyond,” Postecoglou said.
“These two games give us a few more to throw into the mix with an experienced core group of players to see how they cope with the training intensity and the demands of international football before we start monitoring them all leading into the Japan match.
“We will be in a position to select a settled squad for the Japan match in November, which will offer a strong indication of where we are at leading into the Asian Cup although players can always come into the squad with strong form and fitness at club level.”
The Socceroos squad includes four Hyundai A-League players and 14 members of the final squad from the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Ibini’s call up comes on the day fellow Sydney FC player Ali Abbas was recalled to the Iraqi National team for their upcoming October friendlies.
The 23-man Socceroos squad is:
Aziz BEHICH – Bursaspor, TURKEY – 5 (2)
Mark BRESCIANO – Al Gharafa, QATAR – 79 (13)
Joshua BRILLANTE – ACF Fiorentina, ITALY – 3 (0)
Tim CAHILL – New York Red Bulls, USA – 73 (35)
Jason DAVIDSON – West Bromwich Albion F.C., ENGLAND – 12 (0)
Adam FEDERICI – Reading FC, ENGLAND – 8 (0)
Ivan FRANJIC – FK Torpedo Moskva, RUSSIA – 10 (0)
Chris HERD – Bolton Wanderers FC, ENGLAND – 2 (0)
James HOLLAND – FK Austria Vienna, AUSTRIA – 14 (0)
Bernie IBINI-ISEI – Sydney FC, AUSTRALIA –
Mile JEDINAK – Crystal Palace FC, ENGLAND – 49 (6)
Tomi JURIC – Western Sydney Wanderers FC, AUSTRALIA – 5 (1)
Mitchell LANGERAK (gk)- B.V. Borussia 09 Dortmund, GERMANY – 4 (0)
Mathew LECKIE – FC Ingolstadt 04, GERMANY – 13 (1)
Massimo LUONGO – Swindon Town FC, ENGLAND – 3 (0)
Mark MILLIGAN – Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA – 32 (2)
Tommy OAR – FC Utrecht, NETHERLANDS – 19 (1)
Mat RYAN (gk) – Club Brugge KV, BELGIUM – 11 (0)
Trent SAINSBURY – P.E.C. Zwolle, NETHERLANDS – 2 (0)
Brad SMITH – Swindon Town FC, ENGLAND – 2 (0)
Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY – Western Sydney Wanderers FC, AUSTRALIA – 3 (0)
James TROISI – S.V. Zulte Waregem, BELGIUM – 13 (1)
Alex WILKINSON – Jeonbuk Hyundai FC, KOREA REPUBLIC – 8 (0)
UAE v Australia
10 October 2014
Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Kick-Off 6.30pm (1.30am AEDT October 11)
Qatar v Australia
14 October 2014
Lekhwiya Stadium, Doha, Qatar
Kick-Off 7.30pm (3.30am AEDT October 15)
Both matches will be broadcast LIVE and exclusive on FOX SPORTS.
Bernie Ibini is proudly sponsored by player partner Farmer Joe’s Chicken.
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