Socceroos squad v Argentina locked in: Arnie calls up teen defender & uncapped A-Leagues star

Graham Arnold has announced his squad for the June 15 reunion with Lionel Messi’s Argentina in Beijing, China.

Six months after they created history and almost shocked Argentina, the Socceroos will offer a taste of the future against the same opponents with Melbourne City goalkeeper Thomas Glover and former Perth Glory product Alessandro Circati called up for the first time.

The Socceroos squad to face the world champions in Beijing, China on June 15 has a new-look edge as head coach Graham Arnold begins six months of hot-housing to see which of Generation Next is ready to be involved in the start of qualifying for the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup and January’s Asian Cup.

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More than half of the 23-man squad have nine caps or fewer, as they face the huge challenge of tackling Lionel Messi and co. in a mouth-watering international friendly next week.

Parma’s 19-year-old defender Circati – who has been capped at youth level by Italy – and City goalkeeper Glover, are both called up for the first time, while midfielders Denis Genreau (Toulouse FC) and Gianni Stensness (Viking FK) have been recalled to the international fold, having both missed out on last year’s World Cup in Qatar.

Circati’s inclusion signals another success for Arnold in persuading him to choose to play for Australia after earning youth appearances for Italy. Manchester City’s Alex Robertson, who made a similar choice in March, is also in the squad to face Argentina.

A whole swathe of experienced players have been left out to rest and/or have medical attention at the end of a long season which included the World Cup in the middle of the campaign, including Aziz Behich, Jason Cummings, Milos Degenek, Craig Goodwin, Jackson Irvine, Aaron Mooy, Andrew Redmayne and Bailey Wright.

In total there are seven players from the Isuzu UTE A-League, including five from beaten Grand Finalists Melbourne City, and a dozen from the squad that got to the Round of 16 at the World Cup.

A number of players who might otherwise have been in Socceroos contention for this squad are with the Olyroos squad currently competing at the Maurice Revello Tournament in France – a competition widely seen as the best shop window in international football, with some 130 scouts usually in attendance.

That U23 squad includes Garang Kuol and Marco Tilio from last year’s World Cup roster, Jacob Farrell, Nectarios Triantis and Callum Talbot who just played in the Isuzu UTE A-League Grand Final, plus Brighton and Hove Albion’s Cameron Peupion who just made his Premier League debut.  

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“There is no better test than playing the current World Champions in Argentina straight after a World Cup, which reflects how highly regarded Australian football teams are amongst the leading nations,” said Arnold. 

“Irrespective of who we played during June, I have made no secret that this window would provide a glimpse into the future, where we were always going to reward players who have had strong seasons at club level to show what they can do on the international stage. 

“With the benefit of having five friendlies before our 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign starts this November, we need to use every one of these matches to prepare as best we can, as well as having one eye on January’s Asian Cup.”

Match Details

Date: Thursday, 15 June 2023 
Venue: The Workers’ Stadium, Beijing, China 
Time: 8.00pm local / 10.00pm AEST 
Broadcast: Live and free on Network 10 and live on Paramount+

Socceroos squad

NameCurrent Club, Country‘A’ Caps (Goals)Junior Club (Member Federation/Country)
Nathaniel ATKINSONHeart of Midlothian, Scotland6 (0)Riverside Olympic FC / Football Tasmania
Keanu BACCUSSt Mirren, Scotland5 (0)Parklea FC / Football New South Wales
Brandon BORRELLOWestern Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia6 (1)Modbury Jets SC / Football South Australia
Jordan BOSMelbourne City, Australia1 (0)Hoppers Crossing SC / Football Victoria
Alessandro CIRCATIParma Calcio 1913, Italy(0)Perth Soccer Club / Football West
Cameron DEVLINHeart of Midlothian, Scotland2 (0)Sutherland Sharks FC / Football New South Wales
Mitchell DUKEFagiano Okayama, Japan26 (9)Liverpool Rangers SC / Football New South Wales
Joe GAUCI (Gk)Adelaide United, Australia1 (0)Cumberland United FC / Football South Australia
Denis GENREAUToulouse, France2 (0)Brighton SC / Football Victoria
Thomas GLOVER (Gk)Melbourne City, Australia(0)Menai Hawks / Football New South Wales
Ajdin HRUSTICHellas Verona, Italy23 (3)Heatherton United SC / Football Victoria
Joel KINGOdense Boldklub, Denmark on loan to Sydney FC, Australia4 (0)Shellharbour Junior FC / Football New South Wales
Mathew LECKIEMelbourne City, Australia77 (14)Brimbank Stallions FC / Football Victoria
Jamie MACLARENMelbourne City, Australia29 (8)Green Gully SC / Football Victoria
Riley MCGREEMiddlesbrough, England16 (1)Gawler Eagles FC / Football South Australia
Connor METCALFESt. Pauli, Germany7 (0)South Cardiff FC / Northern NSW Football
Aiden O’NEILLMelbourne City, Australia2 (0)University of Queensland Football Club(Formerly Kenmore FC) / Football Queensland 
Alexander ROBERTSONManchester City, England1 (0)Pagewood Botany FC / Football New South Wales
Kye ROWLESHeart of Midlothian FC, Scotland9 (0)Palm Beach SC / Football Queensland
Mathew RYAN (Gk) (Cpt)AZ Alkmaar, Netherland80 (0)Blacktown City FC / Football New South Wales
Gianni STENSNESSViking FK, Norway2 (0)Pittwater RSL FC / Collaroy Cromer SC / Football New South Wales
Harry SOUTTARLeicester City, England15 (6)Brechin City Boys Club (Scotland)
Ryan STRAINSt Mirren, Scotland1 (0)Aston Villa (UK)