• Selection time ... Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou with A-League players Mark Milligan and Ivan Franjic (Getty)
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou named 10 A-League-based players in his 30-man Socceroos squad to contest the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Source:
14 May 2014 - 10:48 AM  UPDATED 15 May 2014 - 10:55 AM

Australia coach Ange Postecoglou named 10 A-League-based players in his 30-man Socceroos squad to contest the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

It is the first time since 1974 such a large number of local-based players have been chosen to represent the national team at the football showpiece.

Eugene Galekovic, Adam Taggart, Mark Milligan, Matt McKay, Matthew Spiranovic, Tom Rogic, James Troisi, Josh Brillante, Ivan Franjic and Mark Birighitti will be representing the domestic league against some of the world's best players in Brazil.

Among the players handed a debut was Preston North End defender Bailey Wright, who has been a fixture for the third-tier League One side for the last two years after being signed to a scholarship in 2009.

He has played three games for the Australian under-17 team.

"He's only a young man beginning his career," Postecoglou told reporters in Sydney.

"But he has had some really strong consistent form at Preston North End in a team that has done well and is on the verge of promotion to the (English) Championship.

"Particularly playing in his position, we have had some injury clouds over a couple of our centre-backs, so he's one that played almost 50 games this year, is in good, solid form.

"It makes sense to bring him in and have a look at him in a national team environment."

Joining the likes of Bailey and Swindon Town midfielder Massimo Luongo are experienced campaigners Mark Bresciano, James Holland, Josh Kennedy, Luke Wilkshire and Tim Cahill, who has made a successful return to New York Red Bulls from a hamstring complaint.

Among the Europe-based players, Postecoglou sprung a a number of selection surprises, with Adam Sarota making a return to the national team and Fortuna Dusseldorf's Ben Halloran earning a debut call-up.

The group, with an average age of 25.5, will assemble in Gosford on Thursday for a week-long camp before shifting to Sydney ahead of its farewell international against South Africa in Sydney on Monday 26 May.

Postecoglou will cut three players from the squad the day after that game before a final 23-man squad will be named in Brazil on 2 June ahead of the warm-up match against Croatia and then the World Cup fixtures against Chile, Netherlands and Spain.

Click here for full SBS broadcast details of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in which every game is LIVE and EXCLUSIVE

"Inexperience, but at the same time a great opportunity for some of these younger players to forge their own national team careers," Postecoglou said.

"We needed to change the direction of our national team. This wasn't going to be an adjustment; this was a meaningful change and we needed to regenerate the team.

"There was no doubt in my mind that we needed to make some meaningful change in the players we selected and, at the same time, understand that it's a World Cup.

"I have said all along if people had the form and fitness, that regardless of age or experience, if that form or fitness was warranted, they would be in the squad. And I think we have managed to do that."

Despite injuring his hamstring for Crystal Palace in its last match of the English Premier League season, Mile Jedinak was selected and is expected to be named captain.

"We're excited to announce the preliminary 30-man Socceroos squad for the World Cup," Postecoglou said.

"We've selected a squad we believe will represent the people of Australia with pride on the biggest stage in world sport.

"The squad has been selected with form and fitness as key indicators as well as having one eye on the future.

"We face a formidable challenge in Brazil but it is also a big opportunity and we head to the World Cup with no barriers as we look to write a new chapter in our rich football history."