Elrich and Galekovic in Socceroo squad for Kyrgyzstan

Tarek Elrich and Eugene Galekovic have been named in the Socceroos squad to face Kyrgyzstan in the opening 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier in Bishkek on 16 June.

Tarek Elrich who made his debut in a friendly against FYR Macedonia back in March has been called up for Ange Postecoglou's squad along with Eugene Galekovic who was part of the AFC Asian Cup winning team.

Postecoglou’s squad includes no uncapped players and 19 members of the AFC Asian Cup winning team, declaring this group of players as the “core of the squad that will take us through to the next World Cup”.

The 23-man squad will get together for a one week camp in Dubai before travelling to Bishkek to take on the 153 rd ranked Kyrgyzstan in the opening match of the first stage of qualification.

Tim Cahill, Matthew Spiranovic and Eugene Galekovic return to the squad after missing the recent matches against Germany and FYR Macedonia with Aaron Mooy, Adam Federici and Luke Devere missing out.

“This is the start of the next chapter in our journey and we are all excited about what lies ahead over the next two years,” Postecoglou said. “We’ve been open in our desire to make an impact at the 2018 World Cup but first we need to qualify and that task is immediately in front of us.

“We’ve selected a relatively settled squad made up of the core of players that brought success at the Asian Cup but also the core of players that will take us through to the next World Cup.

“Before we travel to Bishkek for the match against Kyrgyzstan we have a week long camp in Dubai and it is a good opportunity to work hard with the core group of players who have been exposed to international football and the style of football we want to play.

“We’ll work on building a strong base and then over the next two years we can expose more players to the squad as form and fitness warrants selection but those players will come into a settled unit when they get an opportunity.”

While not shying away from the long term goals, Postecoglou was acutely aware of the challenges facing the Socceroos as they enter unchartered territory for Australian football.

“No Australian football team has ever been to Kyrgyzstan so we have done a lot of research, including a reconnaissance trip to Bishkek, to make sure we are well prepared for what will not be an easy task,” Postecoglou said.

“We go to Bishkek with the utmost respect for Kyrgyzstan and we know that we will have to be at our best to get off to a winning start.”

The Australia v Kyrgyzstan match will be broadcast LIVE and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 4 (channel 505) and on a one hour delay on SBS.

Socceroos squad for 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier v Kyrgyzstan


Club, Country

A International Caps (Goals)

Aziz Behich

Bursaspor, Turkey

10 (2)

Oliver Bozanic

FC Luzern, Switzerland

7 (0)

Nathan Burns

Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand

12 (0)

Tim Cahill

Shanghai Greenland Shenhua F.C., China

82 (39)

Jason Davidson

West Bromwich Albion F.C., England

18 (1)

Tarek Elrich

Adelaide United, Australia

1 (0)

Ivan Franjic


19 (0)

Eugene Galekovic

Adelaide United, Australia

8 (0)

Chris Ikonomidis

S. S. Lazio, Italy

1 (0)

Mile Jedinak

Crystal Palace FC, England

58 (8)

Tomi Juric

Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia

12 (2)

Mitchell Langerak (gk)

B.V. Borussia 09 Dortmund, Germany

6 (0)

Mathew Leckie

FC Ingolstadt 04, Germany

24 (1)

Massimo Luongo

Swindon Town FC, England

12 (2)

Matt McKay

Brisbane Roar, Australia

55 (2)

Mark Milligan

Melbourne Victory FC, Australia

39 (3)

Tommy Oar

FC Utrecht, Netherlands

22 (1)

Mat Ryan (gk)

Club Brugge KV, Belgium

20 (0)

Trent Sainsbury

P.E.C. Zwolle, Netherlands

11 (1)

Matthew Spiranovic

Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia

26 (0)

James Troisi

S.V. Zulte Waregem, Belgium

23 (4)

Alex Wilkinson

Jeonbuk Hyundai FC, Korea Republic

14 (0)

Bailey Wright

Preston North End FC, England

3 (1)

Socceroo Match Details

Kyrgyzstan v Australia

Dolen Omurzakov Stadium, Bishkek

Tuesday 16 June 2015

9pm kick off (1am AEST)

LIVE and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 4 (channel 505) and on a one hour delay on SBS.