Safety first for injured Socceroo
KEEPER Mat Ryan has been ruled out of Australia’s World Cup qualifying squad with a knee injury, leaving the Socceroos’ custodian position up for grabs for the first time since Mark Schwarzer’s 2013 retirement.
Ryan was replaced by Adelaide United keeper Eugene Galekovic, who will compete with Bournemouth’s Adam Federici for the No.1 jersey. Leyton Orient’s Alex Cisak is the other keeper in the squad.
Only eight players were there for the Socceroos’ first training session in Perth yesterday, with a host of Europe- an players, including Massimo Luongo, Tom Rogic and Mathew Leckie, due to arrive late last night.
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou and keeper coach Tony Franken won’t have a chance to look at the keepers until today, 48 hours before the Bangladesh clash, with Federici and Cisak arriving last night and Galekovic this morning.
Postecoglou will wait until the entire squad is in before addressing the players, but the absentee list is substantial, with captain Mile Jedinak, winger Robbie Kruse and striker Tomi Juric also missing.
Ryan, who will make his Champions League debut this season, suffered the injury in Valencia’s 1-1 draw at home to Deportivo La Coruna, a game that finished early yesterday.
Though not serious, Postecoglou opted for a no-risk policy with Ryan only having been due to arrive in camp tonight.
Meanwhile, NPL Queensland club Palm Beach Sharks host A-League outfit Western Sydney Wanderers in an FFA Cup round-of-16 match at Cbus Super Stadium tonight.
The Wanderers side will include Palm Beach product and former Roar midfielder Mitch Nichols.
“They had a good run in the Cup last year and they’re into the round of 16 this time so we’re not going to take them lightly,” he said of the Sharks.