MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia coach Ange Postecoglou has retained Tim Cahill, Mile Jedinak and the bulk of the squad that won the recent Asian continental championship, while drafting in Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici for international friendlies later this month against World Cup champion Germany and Macedonia.
Former Everton star Cahill, who recently left New York Red Bulls for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua in the Chinese Super League, was one of the stars of the Asian Cup, staged in Australia in January.
The squad of 23 announced Wednesday contains 18 players who were involved in the Asian Cup team.
The match against Germany will be played at Kaiserslautern on March 25.
"This squad rewards the players who did a marvelous job in claiming the Asian Cup," Postecoglou said. "Winning the Asian Cup was a great reward for the hard work the players put in but we have been pretty consistent in our approach that the Asian Cup win is the start of a journey, not the end."
Uncapped newcomers include Luke DeVere, Italy-based Chris Ikonomidis, Tarek Elrich, Aaron Mooy and Federici.
Australia played enterprising football at the 2014 World Cup, and received accolades despite narrow losses to Chile and Netherlands and a big group stage loss to 2010 champion Spain.
Postecoglou said the games in Europe offered young players a chance to force their way into the regular squad.
"We continue to have one eye on the four-year World Cup cycle and these players have an opportunity to show us how they'll handle the step up to international level," he said.
The Australians join Asian qualifying for the World Cup in June.
Squad: Aziz Behich, Nathan Burns, Tim Cahill, Jason Davidson, Luke DeVere, Tarek Elrich, Adam Federici, Ivan Franjic, Chris Ikonomidis, Mile Jedinak, Tomi Juric, Mitchell Langerak, Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Matt McKay, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tommy Oar, Mat Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Matthew Spiranovic, James Troisi, Alex Wilkinson.