Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Cahill defended as Maclaren axed from Australia team

Cahill defended as Maclaren axed from Australia team

The 38-year-old Socceroos stalwart defied his age and lack of club game time for Millwall to make the second cut in Bert van Marwijk's extended squad ahead of in-form Hibernian striker Jamie Maclaren.

The FFA and Caltex, the naming-rights sponsor for the Australian men's national team, launched the Cahilltex promotion later Tuesday.

But FFA chief executive David Gallop rejected the assertion, telling broadcaster SBS: "Absolutely not".

Speaking to News Corp Australia ahead of the announcement, Cahill denied age and lack of playing time would hinder him in Russian Federation.

"I'll be leaving no stone unturned because football is my life". Mentally I've not been fazed.

"Obviously I'm in great nick because I pride myself on professionalism and being in the top 20 per cent fitness-wise".

"I'm looking forward to Bert (van Marwijk) looking for someone and if he looks on the bench or wants to start me, as a leader, that he knows he can count on". His record speaks for itself, but he has only been a bit player for Millwall since returning to south London in January.

The others to miss out were Alex Gersbach, Apostolos Giannou, Mitch Langerak, Aleksandar Susnjar and Bailey Wright.

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"Overall, I believe we have named a strong and ambitious squad for our training camp in Turkey and friendly against the Czech Republic in Austria".

Maclaren's omission was the most controversial, having scored a hat-trick at the weekend for Hibs in their 5-5 draw with Rangers.

"It is always a challenging task to reduce a squad", van Marwijk, who had unveiled a 32-player squad last week, said in a statement.

The Socceroos head to Turkey this week for a training camp after which Van Marwijk will announce his final 23 before the Federation Internationale de Football Association deadline on June 4.

The Socceroos World Cup squad will then face a final friendly versus Hungary in Budapest on 9th June before heading to their Russian base in Kazan.

Melbourne City's teenage sensation Daniel Arzani is still in the reckoning for a place in the final 23-man squad, which will represent the country in group games against France, Denmark and Peru.

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