Australian star Aaron Mooy has been named in the finalized 23 player list to represent Australia at the 17th edition of the AFC Asian Cup in UAE. Huddersfield midfielder Mooy was ruled out for up to two months after he had suffered a knee injury during a 1-0 loss to Arsenal earlier this month.
Caltex Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold announced the 23 players who have an average age of 26 for pre-tournament training camp from Boxing Day onwards. The defending champions will open their Asian Cup campaign against Jordan at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on January 6.
Socceroos said 28-year-old Mooy’s injury will be assessed independently by Australia Football Federation medical staff. The federation has six hours before their first match of the tournament to replace a player in their squad due to injury.
Arnold felt that he has selected a balanced and exciting group of players that possess great character for the tournament ahead.
“Our squad for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup in the UAE blends youth with experience. Individually and collectively the players are determined to excel at the tournament and following the three positive camps that we have had since September I know that Australia will enter the Asian Cup with the best camaraderie in the competition,” Arnold said.
Out of 23 players, 22 have been part of either camps or matches under Arnold since September, with Perth Glory winger Chris Ikonomidis the exception.
Arnold explained that Ikonomidis deserved his place at the tournament following his standout performances in season 14 of the Hyundai A-League.
Asian Cup squad:
Danny Vukovic (GKs), Mark Milligan (c), Mitch Langerak, Mat Ryan, Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Alex Gersbach, Rhyan Grant, Matthew Jurman, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury; Mustafa Amini, Jackson Irvine, Massimo Luongo, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic; Martin Boyle, Chris Ikonomidis, Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Awer Mabil, Jamie Maclaren, Andrew Nabbout.