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Cahill defended as Maclaren axed from Australia team

17 May 2018

The pre-tournament squad will begin its training on May 19 in Antalya, Turkey, and play friendlies against the Czech Republic on June 1 in St. Polten, Austria and Hungary on June 9 in Budapest.

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

As naming rights sponsor of the Socceroos, Caltex has rebranded five Caltex sites across Australia to "Cahilltex" to mark its new partnership Tim Cahill ahead of the World Cup next month.

Bailey Wright featured prominently in the qualifiers but won’t be going to Russia
Bailey Wright featured prominently in the qualifiers but won’t be going to Russia

As well as Maclaren, Bristol City skipper Bailey Wright was cut along with long-term back-up goalkeeper Mitch Langerak, Alex Gersbach, Apostolos Giannou, and Aleksandar Susnjar. He has a tremendous record for Australia over the decades and has scored so many crucial goals, not the least being his brace against Syria, which ensured that the Socceroos got past their Middle Eastern opponents in a World Cup playoff.

Tim Cahill has been included in Australia's preliminary World Cup squad for Russian Federation. "He's a guy who has produced for the Socceroos and Australia so many times".

"It is always a challenging task to reduce a squad, however this is the nature of professional sport at the highest level", van Marwijk said in a statement.

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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.

Despite this, he made the cut as coach Bert van Marwijk trimmed his squad to 26 players from 32, with Maclaren's omission the most controversial, having scored a hat-trick at the weekend for Hibs in their 5-5 draw with Rangers.

"Overall, I believe we have named a strong and ambitious squad for our training camp".

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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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Cahill defended as Maclaren axed from Australia team