Van Marwijk picks his 1st squad as Australia head coach

SYDNEY — Bert van Marwijk has made his first selections as Australia's head coach with a 29-man preliminary squad picked for pre-World Cup friendlies later this month against Norway and Colombia.

Van Marwijk was hired to lead Australia at the World Cup after Ange Postecoglou quit following a protracted qualifying campaign that wrapped up last November with an intercontinental series win over Honduras for one of the last two spots at Russia 2018.

The Dutch coach retained 22 of the players involved in the playoff, added four uncapped players and included Feyenoord goalkeeper among those players recalled to the national setup.

The 38-year-old Tim Cahill, who returned to Millwall this year in a bid to prove himself ready for a fourth World Cup, has remained van Marijk's calculations despite limited playing time at the English club.

"Since my appointment with the Socceroos, my staff, scouts and I have monitored over 100 Australian players in the A-League, as well as in leagues across Europe and Asia," van Marwijk said. "There are still a couple of weeks before the group gathers in Oslo, so we will continue to monitor the health and fitness of all the players in the preliminary squad, as well as those on our longer list of potential World Cup squad members."

The Australians will play Norway in Oslo on March 23 and take on Colombia in London on March 27.

Squad: Aziz Behich, Josh Brillante, Tim Cahill Milos Degenek, Alex Gersbach, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Brad Jones, Tomi Juric, Matt Jurman, Robbie Kruse, Mitch Langerak, Mat Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Jamie Maclaren, James Meredith, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Andrew Nabbout, Dimi Petratos, Josh Risdon, Tom Rogic, Nikita Rukavytsya, Mat Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Aleksandar Susnjar, James Troisi, Danny Vukovic, Bailey Wright.

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