Key Socceroo's comeback sparks World Cup boost
MILE Jedinak is set to wear the Socceroos jersey for the first time since June after being named in a 25-man Australian squad for next month's two-legged World Cup qualifying playoff against Honduras.
The Socceroos skipper returned to English Championship club action, coming on for 30 minutes in his Aston Villa side's 0-0 derby draw with Birmingham City.
It was enough to convince Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou that Jedinak had overcome a lingering groin injury and was ready for his first taste of national team action since playing in Australia's 3-2 win over Saudi Arabia in Adelaide.
Postecoglou named a 25-man squad, with 23 to travel to Honduras for the first leg at San Pedro Sula on November 11 (Australian team).
Mark Milligan and Mathew Leckie, who are suspended for the first leg, will rejoin the squad in Sydney for the second leg on November 15.
Apart from Jedinak, Norway-based defender Alex Gersbach and uncapped Austria-based midfielder James Jeggo have been recalled to the squad.
From the 30-man preliminary squad named last week, Jamie Maclaren, Mustafa Amini, Mark Birighitti, Ajdin Hrustic and Awer Mabil have been left out.
"It has been pleasing to see so many of our players performing strongly for their clubs domestically and abroad, and I believe that puts us in good stead for our upcoming playoff matches," Postecoglou said.
"With two games in five days and extensive travel between the fixtures, every member of our squad will play an important role this November.
"We'll be looking to get positive result in San Pedro Sula, before aiming to seal a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia in front of our home fans in Sydney."
Socceroos squad: Aziz BEHICH (Bursaspor, TURKEY), Tim CAHILL (Melbourne City, AUSTRALIA), Milos DEGENEK (Yokohama F. Marinos, JAPAN), Alex GERSBACH (Rosenborg BK, NORWAY), Craig GOODWIN (Sparta Rotterdam, NETHERLANDS), Jackson IRVINE (Hull City AFC, ENGLAND), Mile JEDINAK (Aston Villa FC, ENGLAND), James JEGGO (SK Sturm Graz, AUSTRIA), Tomi JURIC (FC Luzern, SWITZERLAND), Matthew JURMAN (Suwon Samsung Bluewings, KOREA REPUBLIC), Robbie KRUSE (VfL Bochum, GERMANY), Mitchell LANGERAK (Levante UD, SPAIN), Mathew LECKIE (Hertha BSC, GERMANY), Massimo LUONGO (Queens Park Rangers FC, ENGLAND), Ryan MCGOWAN (Al-Sharjah SCC, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES), Mark MILLIGAN (Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA), Aaron MOOY (Huddersfield Town AFC, ENGLAND), Josh RISDON (Western Sydney Wanderers FC, AUSTRALIA), Tom ROGIC (Celtic, SCOTLAND), Nikita RUKAVYTSYA (Maccabi Haifa, ISRAEL), Mathew RYAN (Brighton & Hove Albion, ENGLAND), Trent SAINSBURY (Jiangsu Suning FC, CHINA), James TROISI (Melbourne Victory, AUSTRALIA), Daniel VUKOVIC (KRC Genk, BELGIUM), Bailey WRIGHT (Bristol City, ENGLAND).