Cahill defended as Maclaren axed from Australia team

039;Unique' Arzani deserves Socceroos World Cup spot says Sorensen

World Cup 2018 "Unique Arzani deserves Socceroos World Cup spot Getty Images

But one of Australia's few in-form frontmen, Jamie Maclaren, who scored a hat-trick for Scottish Premier League club Hibernian in the fantastic 5-5 draw with Glasgow Rangers at the weekend, has missed the cut as Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk trimmed his preliminary squad of 32 players down to 26 amonth out from the start of Australia's World Cup campaign. Coach Bert van Marwijk will announce on June 3 the final list of 23 players who will play in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.

The company, which also sponsors Cahill, said it would rebrand five of its "marquee" petrol stations across the country to "Cahilltex" in honour of Australia's all-time top scorer throughout May and June.

Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop was adamant Cahill's place in the squad was down to talent.

"I'll be leaving no stone unturned because football is my life". "Have a look at Tim Cahill's track record".

"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".

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.

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

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Cahill is now in the USA and will join the rest of the squad in Turkey next week for an intense training camp including two warm-up friendlies against the Czech Republic and Hungary.

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

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

They then face Hungary in a warm-up match in Budapest on June 9 before heading to Russian Federation.

Van Marwijk's mandate is based strictly on results, with the Dutchman's main aim to get the Socceroos out of a World Cup group containing France, Denmark and Peru.

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