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Mar 17, 2022   |  11:09AM AET

Sky Blues In Socceroos For Crucial Games

Sky Blues In Socceroos For Crucial Games

Sydney FC stars Andrew Redmayne and Rhyan Grant have been selected in the Socceroos squad for Australia’s crucial FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifying games against Japan (home) and Saudi Arabia (away) this month.

The pair will join up with the squad for next Thursday night’s match against Japan at Stadium Australia, following Saturday’s match with Western United at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium (kick off 7.45pm), returning for Sydney FC’s match on the weekend of April 2nd.

Redmayne and Grant will join 25 other players, including ex-Sky Blues Joel King, Danny Vukovic and Marco Tilio, for the matches which Australia need to win to guarantee qualification for the tournament.

The squad features a mix of international experience and fresh energy, including five uncapped players and three of which will be entering the Socceroos’ set-up for the very first time.

Olyroos graduates Nathaniel Atkinson and Nicholas D’Agostino – who has been in scintillating form for Melbourne Victory of late – will make their first contributions to a Socceroos camp in Sydney next week, while Perth Glory ace Bruno Fornaroli has been called up after he was recently granted Australian citizenship.

With Fornaroli’s Australian citizenship now granted, Football Australia has submitted paperwork to FIFA requesting to switch Fornaroli’s international football allegiance from Uruguay to Australia and is anticipating that this will be approved prior to next Thursday’s match against Japan.

In late 2021 Football Australia underwent through the same process regarding the versatile Gianni Stensness, who has also been included in the Socceroos’ squad for March 2022.

With the Socceroos having the opportunity to advance directly to this year’s FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar should they earn back-to-back wins over Japan and Saudi Arabia over the next fortnight, Arnold is confident that he has selected a group of players ready to make the most of what he’s labelling a “win-win window” for the group.

“This window represents a great opportunity for our players and staff to do something truly special for Australian football, and we will be focusing all our energies on producing two great performances against Japan and Saudi Arabia and lifting the Socceroos to the World Cup,” Arnold said. “But I truly view March 2022 as a win-win window for this group.

“With a play-off spot for June already locked in, if required, the players will be able to come to camp with clear minds as to what’s ahead of them, and enjoy the time that they have working hard together and playing in front of their family, friends, and fans.

Andrew Redmayne in action during the international friendly match between South Korea and Australia.

“I am energised by the messages that I have received from the boys over the past two days after they were notified of their selections.

“That it means as much to a Bruno (Fornaroli), Nathaniel (Atkinson), Nick (D’Agostino), Kye (Rowles), or Gianni (Stensness), players who have yet to take the pitch for Australia, as it does for a Maty (Ryan) or ‘Lecks’ (Mathew Leckie) highlights to me that they can’t wait to be back together to tackle this challenge head on and continue this great journey together,” he said.

Melbourne City FC striker Jamie Maclaren* will depart camp following the Japan fixture due to his wedding, while Adelaide United FC goalkeeper Joe Gauci will attend the first week of camp to help the Socceroos in training and for his own professional development.

With Mathew Ryan and Danny Vukovic not due to arrive in camp until late Tuesday, 21-year-old Gauci has been given the blessing of his club, Adelaide United FC, to be introduced to the Socceroos’ environment and to help the squad in training ahead of the Japan encounter.

Next Thursday’s match will represent Australia’s 17th fixture in its quest to qualify for Qatar 2022. Across two Asian qualification phases, the Socceroos have won 12 matches, drawn three, and lost one fixture, with all bar three of the 16 qualification fixtures played thus far held on foreign soil. Next Thursday’s clash with Japan will be Australia’s fourth and final qualification match on home soil ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

 The match will be beamed live and free in Australia on Network 10 and simulcast on 10 Play in primetime.

Socceroos Squad | 21 – 29 March 2022 | FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar (Final Round)

Nathaniel ATKINSON – Heart of Midlothian, Scotland 0 (0)  

Aziz BEHICH – Giresunspor, Turkey 48 (2)

Martin BOYLE – Al-Faisaly, Saudi Arabia 14 (5)

Nicholas D’AGOSTINO – Melbourne Victory FC 0 (0)

Milos DEGENEK – Columbus Crew, USA 35 (1)

Mitchell DUKE – Fagiano Okayama, Japan 17 (7)

Bruno FORNAROLI – Perth Glory FC, Australia 0 (0)

Denis GENREAU – Toulouse FC, France 1 (0)

Craig GOODWIN – Adelaide United FC, Australia 7 (1)

Rhyan GRANT – Sydney FC, Australia 20 (1)

Ajdin HRUSTIC – Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany 14 (2)

Jackson IRVINE FC – St. Pauli, Germany 45 (6)

James JEGGO – KAS Eupen, Belgium 13 (0)

Fran KARACIC – Brescia Calcio, Italy 7 (1)

Joel KING – Odense Boldklub, Denmark 1 (0)

Mathew LECKIE – Melbourne City FC, Australia 69 (13)

Awer MABIL – Kasimpasa SK, Turkey 23 (6)

Jamie MACLAREN* – Melbourne City FC, Australia 21 (8)

Connor METCALFE – Melbourne City FC, Australia 2 (0)

Andrew REDMAYNE (Gk) – Sydney FC, Australia 2 (0)

Tomas ROGIC – Celtic FC, Scotland 53 (10)

Kye ROWLES – Central Coast Mariners FC, Australia 0 (0)

Mathew RYAN – (Gk) Real Sociedad, Spain 69 (0)

Trent SAINSBURY – KV Kortrijk, Belgium 58 (4)

Gianni STENSNESS – Viking FK, Denmark 0 (0)

Marco TILIO – Melbourne City FC, Australia 1 (0)

Daniel VUKOVIC (Gk) – NEC Nijmegen, Netherlands 4 (0)

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar (Final Round)

Matchday 9: Australia v Japan Date: Thursday, 24 March 2022

Venue: Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia

Kick-off: 8.10pm AEDT

Broadcast: Live and free in Australia on Network 10 and simulcast on 10 Play