World Cup: Jets attacker Petratos closer to securing Socceroos ticket for Russia

REWARDED: Jets attacker Dimi Petratos has been named in a 32-man preliminary Socceroos squad for the World Cup. Picture: AAP SOCCEROOS coachBert van Marwijkwas a fan of Jets attackerDimi PetratosbeforetheA-League grand final.
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The Dutchmanhanded Petratos aSocceroos debut in a friendlyagainst Norway in March after watching thethe 25-year-old tear it up in the A-League during a visit to in February.

Andif there was any doubtover Petratos’ ability to perform on the biggest stage, it was answered by his commanding performance in the controversial 1-0 loss to Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.

As expected,Petratos and former Jets teammate Andrew Nabbout were on Monday named in a 32-man preliminary Socceroos squadfor the World Cup in Russia.

Dimi closer to securing Socceroos ticket for World Cup TweetFacebook“Everybody who saw the game on Saturday sees the potential of Petratos,” van Marwijk said. “I think he is a very good player.”

Van Marwick was “satisfed” with Petratros and Nabbout, who also earned his first cap against Norway and backed up four days later againstColombia.

“Also they were very nervous (in Norway) it was the first time [inthe Socceroos] for them,” the coach said.

“They have qualities I like. Petratos can play on the left side, the right side or in the No.10 position.Nabbout is a little bit the same.I put Nabbout in the No.9 position. I did it because I think hecan do that.They are players who are fast, technically they are good andthey can score goals.”

Petratos said it was “an exciting time” to be part of the Socceroos.

“I really enjoyed my time with the nationalteam earlier this year, and making my debut is something thatI’llalways remember,” he said.“It’s a strong group of players that have been selected for the preliminary squad and competition for places will be tough, but overallI’m just really excited about the opportunity.”

Petratos was among nine forwards named including veteran Tim Cahill, who van Marwijk said was a “special case”.

The 38-year-oldhas playedonly 63 minutes of club football since the start of December and has not scored a goal in all club competitions for more than a year.

The other talking points were the inclusion of Melbourne City teenage sensation Daniel Arzani and little known Croatian-basedright backFran Karacic.

The group will be cut to 27players next week for a pre-Cup training camp in Turkey before the final 23-man squad for the World Cup is named on June 9, a week before the opening game.

Goalkeepers: Brad Jones, Mitch Langerak, Mat Ryan, Danny Vukovic.

Defenders: Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Alex Gersbach, Matthew Jurman , Fran Karacic, James Meredith, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury, Aleksandar Susnjar, Bailey Wright.

Midfielders: Josh Brillante, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Robbie Kruse, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic, James Troisi.

Forwards: Daniel Arzani, Tim Cahill, Apostolos Giannou, Tomi Juric, Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren, Andrew Nabbout, Dimitri Petratos, Nikita Rukavytsya.